Géraldine Laval was born in the Charente and studied in Bordeaux, but after an internship at Cantenac Brown she decided to go elsewhere. She apprenticed at Olivier Leflaive, Jean-Louis Chave, Olivier Julien, and Pas de L’Escalette. When she decided to create her own domaine, she was attracted by 3 terroirs: Irouleguy, Calce (Roussillon) and the Terrasses du Larzac. She chose Larzac for the combination of altitude, the presence of water, and well-drained limestone soils. Today she has 5.4 hectares (4 ha to rouge, 1.4 ha to blanc) planted at 400-500 meters of altitude to Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, Syrah, Oellade, Roussanne, Terret Bourret and Chenin Blanc. The soils are worked naturally without the use of any chemicals. The roots of her vines plunge deep into the rubbly limestone which provides her wines with extra minerality. Thanks to the combination of the vineyard’s elevation, the limestone bedrock, and the sufficient water in the relatively hot Languedoc climate along with Géraldine’s immaculate farming, her wines are brilliantly fresh, elegant, and precise. 2009 marked the first vintage of Clos Maïa. Quality is high; quantities are limited.
The Revue du Vin de France took notice of Géraldine Laval’s work, remarking “She imposed herself on the scene with the first vinification in 2009”. The Clos Maïa 2009 red was ranked 13 out of a global 60-wine selection of Grenache that year in the RVF. In the 2011 vintage issue of the Revue du Vin de France, Clos Maïa was one of 4 domaines in the Languedoc who had a wine listed as an “exceptional successes”. In 2014, the Revue du Vin de France commented “(Clos Maïa) seeks to restore the natural balance of the vines to produce wines of precision and remarkable control after only three years of work. We fell in love with this unique and consistent production emblematic of the new wave of Languedoc.”