Compound Complex

by Li Haohan
Photography by Chino Sardea
09 May 2018

From reading Isaac Asimov novels to taking a slow boat to China and continuing a tradition, Mr. Basile Guibert has very complex traits that recall those of the wines his family makes

Mr. Basile Guibert, youngest son of the founders of the Mas de Daumas Gassac vineyard in France, holds the unofficial title of ambassador to Asia, which means he is responsible for growing the business in the region by spreading the word about its produce and the uniqueness of the place that gives the grapes grown on it their special qualities.

Mr. Guibert, 35, has an affable personality, which suits his job well. His conversation repertoire is not limited to wine – philosophy and culture are among his passions – and he can frame his life experiences with both youthful enthusiasm and a disarming sophistication. He travels across China and Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, and has made Singapore, where he lives with his wife, his base. Wherever he may be, he hosts lunches and dinners to highlight his wines, which he pairs with whatever food he thinks will bring out their quality. “I think it is the best way to introduce wines – to get people enjoy it with food, especially local cuisine,” he says.

In the 1970s, Mr. Aimé Guibert and Mrs. Véronique Guibert founded the vineyard Mas de Daumas Gassac, today a collection of 52 small plots surrounded by 3,000 hectares of protected forest, and named it after the mas or the rural farmhouse that serves as a landmark in the area. The vineyard has made a name for following old European winemaking traditions where a lot of the processes are done by hand from picking the grapes to sorting them out and finally depositing them in fermentation vats.

The vineyards are fully organic. A compost with ewe manure is used as fertilizer, while natural predators, such as birds and insects, that thrive in the area keep pests away. Two years ago, horse-drawn plows were introduced to work the estate’s best vineyards.

The winery is co-owned by Mrs. Guibert, and run by her four sons with the late Mr. Aimé Guibert: Samuel, Gaël, Roman and Basile Guibert.

Although lesser known than other wine-producing areas, the Mas de Daumas Gassac vineyard in the Languedoc commune of Aniane in the South of France, is held in high regard for its outstanding red and white wines. Out of its 2016 vintage, only 7,500 cases were produced, some of which were released recently.

In Singapore, Mas de Daumas Gassac wines are served at Odette, Les Amis, La Terre, Lerouy, Waku Ghin, and Salt & Tapas, and sold through the The Vintage Club and Redmart.