As he says himself, Jean-Claude Mas used his marketing skills to journey around the wine world - and inspired by the open-minded approach of New World wine producers, eventually turned full circle.

Today, Domaines Paul Mas, the company he launched in 2000 and named in honour of his father, comprises 15 estates across the Languedoc with 24 million bottles sold annually, 90% exported to more than 60 countries.

The son of a skilled grape grower, "I was good at mathematics and physics, bad at French and languages, so I chose a business degree to make progress in these things," says Mas.

His time in the US made a big impression, where he noted the success of New World wines among consumers. The turning point in his career was when he became export manager for Bernard Magrez' William Pitters group in Bordeaux, his first foray into international wine markets.

"My roots were deeper than they seemed, they brought me back to wine," says Mas.

His resounding success is based on wines which offer quality, consistency and good value such as Elegant Frog Viognier (£8, Sainsbury's) - his famous tongue-in-cheek label; Paul Mas Languedoc Rouge Reserve (£9.39, Waitrose); Vinus by Paul Mas Malbec (£6.50 Morrisons, currently on promotion), and Ferrandiere Pinot Gris (£5.99, Aldi).

Along with an impressive array of Estate and Signature wines, suffice to say, you're in good hands with one of his top drops. "Luxe rural is my personal philosophy. It's about finding pleasure from what you see and hear around you, what you eat and drink. These things don't have to be very expensive," says Mas.

Here's what goes on behind the scenes in the busy world of this trusty trailblazer...


"I usually wake up around 6.30am when I'm at home. My house is near Montagnac, not far from Montpellier in the South of France, surrounded by my own vineyards. After some exercise, I take my second daughter (I have four girls) to school," says Mas.

"Then in the car it's time to make some calls to markets in Asia where it's early afternoon. Domaines Paul Mas wines are sold in many markets around the world, so there's always lots to catch up on."


"After that, around 9am, I visit one of the Domaines, often Lauriga, Astruc, or Martinolles where I gather the team together to discuss current projects.

"Each Domaine produces different wines: Martinolles for example is where my sparkling wines are produced, Lauriga produces superb syrah wines."


"Then around 11.30, I probably head to our main office at the winery in Montagnac,where I'll do an intensive blending/tasting session between 12 and 1pm, approving new blends and vintages.

"This type of focused tasting is always best in the morning. I personally approve every single blend which goes out - and there are more than 140 different ones!"


"Then it's time for lunch, often with suppliers or customers - we have a good bistro at Cote Mas (his new restaurant and wine bar), which serves excellent light lunches."


"In the afternoon, I like to go to the vineyards (we have more than 600 hectares of our own vineyards) and review the progress of the vines, depending on the time of year.

"Twice a week, I'll meet the marketing teams to discuss recent developments, labels, campaigns, visits and so on. Then of course there are the other areas of the business to look after, finance, and HR.


"In the evening, from 7-8.30pm I'll do some sport. I do taekwondo twice a week with an instructor. I also love horse riding, cycling, and walking my dogs in the vineyards - not all at the same time!"

What's next?

Mas has decided to raise the bar and really show what the region is capable of. His latest release is a range of superior wines called the Chateau Collection, made from the best parcels at three of his properties.

"After 18 years of experience, analysis, discoveries, work and passion to try to better understand the soils, climate, flora, vine plants (clones, rootstocks) of the Languedoc, I understood it was time to reveal these exceptional terroirs with our estates," says Mas. "The Clos Astelia, Laurinya, Silenus are the first witnesses with the 2016 vintages."

Each red wine retails for £45 and will be available through leading independent merchants including Soho Wine Supply in small quantities.