CRU AOC Vacqueyras
Located in the southern Rhône Valley, in the sun-soaked Vaucluse 1 hour north from Marseille, the AOC Vacqueyras is located between the famous appellations of Gigondas, Beaumes-de-Venise and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In 1992 that the Vacqueyras CRU acquired its status as a local Appellation, by the decision of the National Institute of Appellations of Controlled Origin (INAO). Since then, strict rules govern its wine production. The basic yield, for example, is set at 36 hectoliters per hectare of vines, which is one of the lowest in France. The harvest must be sorted, and the vines must be at least three years old in order to produce grapes capable of being called Vacqueyras wines.
For more information, visit the website of the Vacqueyras Wines:
A blend of soil,
rocks and heat
On the appellation, the terroirs are varied. This allows the winegrowers to give real identities to the wines, but also to aid in plot selection. On the Ouvèze terraces, the soils are mostly sandy-clay, with banks of rolled pebbles. During the maturing season, the pebbles allow the heat accumulated throughout the day to be redistributed during the night. With more than 2800 hours of sunshine per year on average, the grapes are full of sugar and easily reach perfect maturity for the harvest from late September to early November. The Mistral wind is also a good ally, because it prevents the massive spread of fungi on the grapes and allows us to keep health vine plants without adding inputs or chemical treatments.
IN THE VINEYARD
The respect of the land
Our Vacqueyras plots represent 7 hectares of vines, mainly old Grenache, but also Syrah and Mourvèdre. The whites represent half a hectare, planted with Roussanne, Clairette and Viognier. The yields of these vines are low, below of the thresholds authorized by the appellation. Around the pond are our 2 hectares of IGP Vaucluse, where a variety of grapes is planted, allowing us to produce beautiful wines outside the appellation. Produced without chemical fertilizers or pesticides since the acquisition of the estate in 2013, the grapes and wines are labeled as “under organic conversion since 2016.” The grapes are harvested entirely by hand, at perfect maturity and at the right temperature, and the grapes are transported with the greatest care in small crates, to avoid any oxidation during the journey.
IN THE WINERY
A natural approach
From parcel selections, the red grapes are mainly destemmed, and the berries are meticulously sorted. The juices obtained are only worked by gravity, to preserve the fruit and freshness in the finished wines. They are aged in concrete vats for a minimum of 12 months, then kept at the estate for 24 months before being put on sale, in order to offer wines with good maturity. These wines have not been fined or filtered. The whites, harvested very early in the day to preserve all the aromas, are pressed directly. Once the juices are released, fermentation starts without the addition of enzymes or yeasts. Half of the fermentation and ageing takes place in demi-muid (600l oak barrels), and the other half in stainless steel vats for 6 to 8 months.