Elian Da Ros is beloved in Marmandais for displaying elegance and finesse while working with grape varieties famous for masculinity and strength. Elian has taken a more Burgundian approach in his winemaking and a gentle approach in his vineyards. Before creating his domaine and becoming the first vigneron in the Côtes du Marmandais in 1998, Elian Da Ros spent five years working with Domaine Zind-Humbrecht in Alsace. He returned to the Côtes du Marmandais with the gift of 5 hectares of vines passed on to him by his father. Like the rest of the Marmandais, Elian’s father sold all his fruit to local co-ops. Elian decided it was time for a change. He began bottling his family’s wines under his name. It was at this time that Elian Da Ros became the pioneer of the Marmandais. Elian and Sandrine now farm 22 hectares biodynamically. Their vineyards are immaculate.
Elian treats each of his parcels separately. His yields are low; typically between 20 to 35 hl/ha. Focused on creating wines Burgundian in style, there is a finesse to Elian’s work. He de-stems all his fruit believing the grapes naturally provide the texture, depth, and spice he is looking for. Elian also aims to display the two primary soil types of his area: argilo-calcaire (clay-limestone) and argilo-graveleux (clay-rocky pebble). He only uses native yeast fermentation and vinifies each parcel and grape variety separately. His wines experience extended elevage as he experiments with a variety of vinification and aging vessels including tank, oak barrels, foudre, and concrete egg tanks. During our visit, we were most impressed with their amphora called “Drunk Turtle.” The Amphora is over 8 feet tall and is made from a mix of concrete, clay, and sand. Elian uses the “Drunk Turtle” for his white wines.