We are making progress in the harvesting of our Gigondas vineyard. In the hills of Romane and La Machotte, the grape pickers are at work.
The Syrah are harvested and we started picking the Grenache. In between, we took care to pick our white Clairettes when they were ripe. These parcels of white grapes were planted in 1952 in the heart of our Gigondas vineyard on a fresh terroir: at an altitude of 300 metres, with a north-west exposure, and on a predominantly clay-limestone soil.
On this terroir, this traditional Rhône Valley grape variety reveals its qualities during atypical years such as 2019. Despite the heat waves this summer, our old vines did not suffer from heat and drought. Indeed, it is a grape variety well adapted to the Mediterranean climate, and the clay in our soils retains enough water so that the vines do not lack it during the season.
We are therefore satisfied with the yields of both grapes and juice at the end of the press, and tasting these juices seems promising! To be continued….
This confirms the establishment of Clairette on our terroir of Gigondas: our grandfather had already sensed that this hillside of Romane would be favourable to the production of a great white wine.
To extend the attention paid to the work that is done in the vineyard, we vinify and age this cuvée in barrels for eight months, in order to integrate the wood from the youth of the wine, and to prepare its ageing in bottle. By combining the oakiness of 500-litre barrels with 228-litre barrels (new, one wine and two wines), we care for and refine the maturing of this cuvée. Each container, of different age and capacity, brings a note that the final assembly will harmonize.
This potential of Clairette blanche in Gigondas was revealed and confirmed this year, during the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the first Pierre Amadieu vintage: a 2002 Côtes du Rhône Domaine Grand Romane blanc surprised us with its freshness and elegance!
Today, we are happy with the result of this cuvée and hope to soon be able to put a “Gigondas blanc” label on these beautiful bottles! In the meantime, we are continuing the work initiated more than sixty years ago by our grandfather and experimenting with new white varieties on our Gigondas soils (in 2014 we planted Marsanne, Roussane and Viognier on plots facing north).