Originally from Alsace, Barbara and Pierre Sibille have a rather unusual background for a winegrowing couple. It took a measure of madness for this qualified oenologist and his wife, a local government officer, to leave all they had in 2015 and embark on the adventure of creating their own wine estate! Let’s meet Pierre and Barbara, two newcomers to the D-Vine family of winegrowers.
What led you to choose this life?
“Barbara and I were both bored with our jobs and all the monotonous meetings and piles of administrative work. Or maybe it was just a case of mid-life crisis. Personally, as a cellar master in a winegrowers’ cooperative in Alsace, I felt I was stagnating. Without a challenge life becomes boring… So we decided to capitalise on my experience and make our own wines, which meant independence and no boss to report to!
What we like about our work? The versatility, being in the great outdoors, and being responsible for everything from pruning the vines to bottling the wine…
What we dislike about it is all the paperwork!!”
Can you describe your estate to us?
Domaine Sibille is a small human-scale estate with no more than 15 hectares. The vines are organically grown and surrounded by garrigue. We handle every process all the way to the bottle, as we have our own bottling line.”
How would you describe your Minervois wine in just a few words?
“Our Minervois is a straightforward, fruity wine. Our grape varieties are so rich, and the wine is not disguised with wood. It is full of freshness (thanks to the sandstone soil), tastes great and goes well with food. If our wine doesn’t make you long for a meal, then there’s something missing…”
What is a typical day for you?
“We never know what we’re going to do until we get up and see what the weather’s like. But we juggle our time between the vines, the cellar, administrative work and marketing. In the middle of the vineyard we might take a phone call from Sweden or Germany. It’s quite a mixture!”
If you were a wine, which would it be?
A riesling from the granite soils of Sommerberg!”
If we were coming for dinner this evening, what would you cook for us?
“Two options! The simplest solution would be to barbecue a prime rib of beef by the pool and wash it down with a bottle of Minervois rosé 2017, uncorked an hour beforehand. The other option would be a buffet dinner with lots of different dishes, like tapenade and pizza. We would finish the bottles that have already been opened in the tasting cellar and try a different wine with each dish. A whole experience!”
I believe your Minervois L’Audacieuse Domaine Sibille 2017 has just joined the D-Vine wine list. Did you have any preconceptions about D-Vine?
“No, on the contrary. We enjoy making new discoveries. They make a change from the daily routine.”
What was it about D-Vine that appealed to you?
D-Vine is a new way of presenting our wines to customers. It’s a lovely showcase and the wine service is excellent. It’s also a great way for us to reach a wider audience. Wine is like a postcard. And if you get a response, you know you can look forward to a pleasant relationship.”