Le Château Pesquié 

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The Ventoux is no longer viewed at an insignificant satellite of the Rhône Valley but an important appellation in its own right. Mount Ventoux sits at the intersection of the lower Rhone Valley, running north to south, and the coastal hills of Provence, running east to west. The slopes of this mountain provide an ideal microclimate for viticulture with poor soils, outstanding levels of sunshine and the ever-present Mistral wind which blows moisture from the vines. With an average elevation of 400m, Château Pesquié’s vineyards enjoy cool nights and warm days. This allows their grapes to retain acids that lower elevation Côte du Rhone wines can only dream of. At Château Pesquié all of these conditions combine to create wines that are rich in fruit with remarkable balance and purity.

The Chaudière family have now farmed this land for 3 generations. Odette and René purchased the Château in the early 1970’s. While the building itself dates to the 1750s the lands around it have been cultivated since the Roman era. The name of the property derives from the Latin name for fish ponds, pescarium – no doubt due to the springs that occur naturally near the Château.

By the mid 1980’s Odette and René’s daughter Edith and her husband Paul Chaudière had taken over the running of the estate. Both left careers in the medical field to return to the family estate and soon found themselves back in school, this time learning how to make wine. In 1989 Chateau Pesquié, the wine was born.

Now in the capable hands of Fred and Alex Chaudière, the sons of Edith and Paul, Château Pesquié is comprised of 100 hectares of vines. Only organic treatments and composts are used in the vineyard. Weed control is done by turning over the soil, and harvesting is done by hand. They grow Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Clairette, Viognier, Chardonnay and Muscat and the age of the vines ranges from 20 to well over 80 years old.

All of these elements: good terroir, older vines, organic farming and hand harvesting ensure that only the best grapes reach the cellar. Aging takes place in tank, concrete or barrel depending on variety and the final blends are carefully made to capture the essence of each Cuvée: Terrasses is forward and engaging, Quintessence is concentrated and age-worthy while Artemia is only made in top vintages and represents the best the estate can offer.

Château Pesquié - Destination Oenotourisme

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Le Château de Lascaux 

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The vineyards of Château de Lascaux have been in the Cavalier family for 13 generations. The name ‘Lascaux’ comes from a limestone specific to the domaine’s vineyard sites. Jean-Benoît Cavalier took direction of the property in 1984, just after finishing a degree in Agricultural Engineering. In 1990, he consolidated the vineyards, restructured the ancient cellars, and created the official domaine, Château de Lascaux. Jean-Benoît is passionate about supporting the richness and diversity of this ecosystem, so the domaine’s conversion to organic viticulture was a logical choice.

Today, over 25 years later, the domaine has expanded from 25 to 85 hectares of vineyards, surrounded by 300 hectares of forest, filled with green oaks, pines, and garrigue that certainly is reflected in the aromas, where notes of laurel, thyme, rosemary, liquorice, and mint are present in the wines.

This isolated position, coupled with the proximity to both the sea and the mountains, makes the microclimate so unique. Nestled along the foothills of the Cevennes, a mountain range that sits in the heart of the Midi, the vines are protected from the cool Mistral and Tramontane winds, and it brings more rain than other dry climate. This temperate zone brings a long, slow ripening of the grapes while the stony soil lends finesse and freshness to the wines, giving the reds greater aging potential than Syrah-based wines grown in other Languedoc soils.

There is a freshness and purity, finesse and complexity in the Lascaux wines that is rare in this wild landscape. The consistency of the winemaking, the quality of their wines, and great values they present make this domaine a treasure to discover.

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Domaine du Tariquet - A Family legacy 

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If you have a friend that spends his holidays in the South West of France, ask him if he knows the Domaine du Tariquet and you will notice a dreamy smile on his face. It's not surprising! Tariquet is an iconic wine from the South West region of France. Almost a heritage, this iconic house has many stories to tell since it was founded a hundred years ago.

In the French department of the Gers, the heart of Gascony, the Artaud and the Grassa families have made history. Traditionally, Gascony has always been a breeding ground for the brave. Whether it is the region’s fiercely independent Basque forefathers or its rebellious Huguenot ancestry, there’s apparently something in the wine that creates the stuff of legends. The history of the Artaud and Grassa families is as epic a tale as they come. With a family tree of colourful and brave pioneers, from bear trainers to bartenders, prisoners of war to Resistants, it is no wonder that Domaine du Tariquet has pushed the envelope. Not only do the Grassas traditionally distil their grapes into world-class Bas-Armagnac but they were the first in their region to recognize that the quality of their grapes could yield delicious wines.

Today, their sons, Rémy and Armin, run the domaine and have brought it to new heights. They have also added three other estates to the family holdings, Domaine de Pouy, Domaine Lalande, and Domaine La Hitaire, making their own contribution to the family legacy and becoming one of the most well-known winemaking and distilling families in all of France.

Domaine du Tariquet - 100 ans

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The new era of Chateau Anthonic 

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Chateau Anthonic is one of Moulis-en-Medoc's oldest family-owned vineyards. Moulis en Medoc or Moulis as it more commonly known is the smallest of the Medoc appellations. Lying 14kms northwest of the city of Bordeaux, it lies closer to the Atlantic in the West of Medoc. Moulis is taken from the French word for windmill, ‘moulin’, for which the region is famous. Moulis stretches half way between Margaux and Saint Julien, on a narrow band some 7 kms long, on the left bank of the Gironde Estuary.

Established towards the end of the 18th century, it belonged to the Hugon family for an extended period of time. In 1993, Jean-Baptiste Cordonnier took over his father, Pierre Cordonnier who acquired the vineyard in 1977.

From August 2016, Château Anthonic officially started to convert to organic farming. For 3 years, the domain will be lead in a completely organic way before receiving the ‘Organic Agriculture’ certification in 2019.

Château Anthonic, Moulis-en-Médoc

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Maison Adrien Vacher - Savoie wine dedicated family 

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Created in 1950, Maison Adrien Vacher is located the village of Les Marches, a few kilometres from Chambery, in the heart of the Savoy wines AOC region. Adrien Vacher died in 1955, only 5 years after the creation of the estate. His daughter and son-in-law, Henri Gayet took the lead and developed the family estate for nearly 40 years.

In 1978, Charles Henri Gayet joined his parents and pursued the work with the same attention to quality and promotion of Savoie wines. Today, his daughters Pauline and Charlotte (the 4th generation) are involved in the family estate, with a common desire for adaption, development and customer satisfaction.

Domaine Adrien Vacher produces lovely, crisp, dry white wines with a little “perle” sensation on the palate. The over 200 wines are made from little-known grape varieties – Altesse, Jacquere, Chasselas, Bergeron …. And they are the ideal foil for the local specialities such as Raclette, Fondue and Tartiflette.

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Albert Mann – A progressive domain at the top 

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Domaine Albert Mann is the joint effort of two winemaking families: Barthelmé and Mann. Though the Barthelmés and Manns both have a long history with growing vines (over three centuries!), the two families did not become intertwined until the marriage of Maurice Barthelmé and Marie-Claire Mann—the daughter of Albert—a few decades ago.

Today, Maurice and Marie-Claire run the estate in Wettolsheim with Maurice’s brother Jacky and his wife Marie-Thérèse. The wines produced by the family are precise and balanced, with pure expression of the terroir.

The winery was an early proponent of biodynamic viticulture, starting with three Grand Cru vineyards in 1997, being organically certified by Ecocert since 2000 and gradually converting the rest of the Domaine by 2010. Domaine Albert Mann now cultivates more than 100 plots. They produce wines from five Grands Crus, two lieux-dits and one clos (former cloister), in addition to their ‘traditional’ range of wines.

If the many years of experience and dedication to biodynamics aren’t convincing enough to give these wines a try, Domaine Albert Mann also received the 2012 Winemaker of the Year award from Revue du Vin de France, the leading French wine publication.

 

Reviews:

‘These wines are generally superb in quality, with dramatic personalities, plenty of concentration and impeccable balance.’ Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

‘Every time I visit this biodynamic domain, run by Maurice and Jacky Barthelmé, I’m more impressed than the last time. The brothers are very serious and very determined, and their wines (Jacky is in charge of the cellar and Maurice the vineyards) grow in precision and focus with each vintage which passes. The 21-hectare domain now includes six hectares of grands crus (including the superb Hengst, Schlossberg and Furstentum) and three hectares of lieux-dits (including Altenbourg).’ Andrew Jefford, Gourmet Traveller Wine

Panos Kakaviatos visits the wine domain Albert Mann