Interview with Jean-Claude Mas of Domaines Paul Mas
27th March 2017
Nestled in the Coteaux de Languedoc AOC between Pézenas and Sète on the Mediterranean coastline, Château de Conas has been in the Mas family home for over one thousand years.
Fourth-generation vintner, Jean-Claude Mas took over the helm in 2000 and his mission has been to use only premium quality grapes to craft superior wines with a modern, New World flair and fulfilled his lifelong dream of producing his own sparkling wines.
Jean-Claude oversees all blending and ageing decisions personally, striving to produce wines that are, above all, a pleasure to drink and this has blazed the trail for premium winemaking in the Languedoc region.
Jean-Claude, shows that with creativity, know-how and a sense of humor, one can make Southern French wines shine around the world and give pure pleasure, at a reasonable price! The range of sparkling wines include Arrogant Frog, Crémant de Limoux, Côté Mas and Prima Perla.
Where did the name Arrogant Frog come from?
This all came about from an experience I had when I was at a famous wine tasting event and tasted some not very good wine and said it wasn’t the best vintage. I was answered in an arrogant way, ‘Do you know anything about Grand Cru?’ when I replied I was learning, he said ‘The day you will know about grand cru you will understand this is a great wine.”
In the year 2000, I created a label called Frog & Heron, the heron being the emblem of Paul Mas wines. I was told this sounded like an English name, rather than a name for a French sparkling wine. In 2003 with
the tensions between France and America with the Iraq war, I heard that 90% of Americans think we are arrogant. So being innovative and thinking outside the box, Arrogant Frog was born, yes, we may be arrogant frogs, but we can have a nice character and listen to what our customers want when it comes to wine.
How do you see the future of sparkling wine in France?
What I want to see is a similarity to the market in Italy. The Italians have a great way of life, where to start dinner without a small glass of sparkling wine is unthinkable. I would like to see that with French sparkling wine, where it becomes an everyday luxury.
What is your favourite food pairing with any of your sparkling wines?
Paul Mas Prima Perla Blanquette St Hilaire with oysters or barbecued chicken.
Crémant with lobster or monkfish.
Crémant Brut with sushi and sashami.
Crémant Rosé with grilled lamb or fruit tart.
Where’s the most memorable place you’ve enjoyed a Glass of Bubbly?
On the Northern terrace of the Côté Mas Restaurant at the beginning of August, with a dry breeze from the North sharing a perfect multicolured sky and with good company.
Glass of Bubbly
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