Oliver Jullien, Mas Jullien, Jonquieres
The Mas Jullien is a young estate with a long history deeply rooted in the hillsides of Languedoc. Olivier Jullien grew up in the vineyards that his father and grandfather worked. As a boy in the late 70's, Olivier witnessed the winegrowers' uprisings in the region provoked by economic difficulties that beset (and continue to plague) many small, independent farmers, which resulted in the death of two men. The vineyards of Languedoc were in a critical state. Decades of over cropping to produce inexpensive wine with little thought given to quality were coming to a painful but necessary end. The young generation of the time wanted nothing more than to leave viticulture behind. Nobody wanted vineyards in Languedoc. Olivier was one of the pioneers of the region. He believed that the terroir had the potential to make great wines and he had the courage to prove it. After taking his degree in viticulture and oenology in 1985, he began farming some of his family's vineyards and looking around the area for the best vineyards to purchase. He was only twenty years old when he converted some of the outbuildings on the family estate into a cellar and began vinifying and bottling his wines under the Mas Jullien label. In a touching turn of events, Olivier's success and passion inspired his father to withdraw from the cooperative and create his own winery, Mas Cal Demoura, in 1993. Or, as Olivier says proudly: "with this courageous and highly symbolic action, he quite simply became himself".