Domaine de la Bouvaude
HISTORY OF OUR LANDS
Rousset Les Vignes is the birthplace of Domaine de la Bouvaude and, thanks to current owner Alain Blachon, since 1969, has also formed part of prestigious appellation AOC Cotes du Rhônes Villages Rousset Les Vignes.
Steeped in history, it is believed to have been a hub of commerce for hundreds of centuries BC, not only for the Gauls who had settled there at the time, but also the Ancient Greeks, whose “Greek Pitchers” and “Pseudo-Ionian” Wine jars, are just some of the artefacts to have been uncovered in its precious soils.
As well as trading goods on its picturesque plots lined with olive groves and lavender fields, Rousset Les Vignes was also heralded as somewhat of a viticultural hub too.
11th Century Benedectine monks first planted vines there on its sandstone slopes, and it was later confirmed by a 15th Century land survey that the variety of soil types in the area were also all very suitable for viticulture.
AN IDEAL LOCATION
Sitting at the North end of the Southern Cotes du Rhone region, the estate is privy to an exceptional location between the renowned Rhone Cru Chateau-Neuf-du-Papes to its South, and esteemed Cotie Rotie Cru reaching North. Its altitude and terroir create ideal winemaking conditions, and since 1969 the winery and its vineyards have formed part of the 21 villages belonging to the prestigious classification Cotes Du Rhone Villages.
A PERFECT TERROIR
Alain’s knowledge of geology allowed him to select the optimum terroir for cultivation and Le Domaine de la Bouvaude is set on sandstone that was deposited by the Mediterranean Sea over 20 million years ago and is some 600m deep. The effect of the nearby Rhone River adds clay and limestone to the soil mix, and the surrounding Alps add not only altitude of around 500m – helping to mediate average temperatures – but also protect the vineyards from harsh winds and too much heat, (a problem exacerbated for many by Global Warming.)
The soils on the slopes are light and infertile, and the vine must strain to reach the nutrients it needs. This extra stress means a smaller overall production, but of a much more concentrated and higher quality juice.
As you walk around the beautiful surroundings, you will no doubt notice strange ripple marks at the edge of the vineyards. These are simple reminders of what once was; the old beach of the Mediterranean Sea.
AN EXPERT TEAM
Since 1930, the vineyard has been expertly managed by the Barnaud family who continue to maintain pivotal roles within the business.
The current owner, Alain Blachon, (whose PHD in Earth Science and further degree in IT proved a somewhat A-typical background for a winery owner), has taken up the reins and is paving the way for some exciting projects on the horizon.
His inherent knowledge of geology and the fact he was born and brought up in neighbouring Grenobles, have served as catalysts to release the potential of the vineyards as well as his passion behind these wines, proof of which can be tasted in the bottles themselves.
There is a new team in place, managed by Alain and ready to take winery to the next level with the following plans:
- Organic certification (BIO ecocert) (HVE 3)
- A new winery to be ready by 2022,
- New plantations of Viognier and Ugni Blanc grapes and
- New machinery, tools and practices that will avoid the use of chemical treatment.
- Alain Blachon Owner
- Stéphane Barnaud Vineyard Management
- Fabienne Barnaud Administration
- Marie Rose International Business Development
- Yann Jacob it Director of Agriculture
- Richard Christ Local Business Development
- Jean Yves Duret Consultant