LES VIGNERONS DES ESTEZARGUES
Rhone Valley, France
Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues is a co-operative cellar in the small town of Estézargues, very close to Avignon and the Pont du Gard in the southern Rhone valley. All over France, the co-op still plays a very important role in the production and sale of wine. Co-ops typically receive grapes from their members and then make wines from them in large batches, not mentioned vineyards or winemakers. The wines are sourced from many different vineyards from all over the region and typically the focus is on quantity. Not quality. These are commonly some of the most technologically and chemically produced wines in Europe. Wines produced in co-operative cellars are often not what we associate organic viticulture or natural winemaking… but Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues is special.
Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues has been producing wine since 1965 but now takes a fundamentally different approach; starting in 1995 the ten different growers in this co-op began to vinify their wine separately and make single cuvées from their best plots. On the heels of the single cuvée evolution Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues began to also practice natural winemaking. Possibly one of the only co-ops in the world to do so, Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues uses no external yeasts, no filtering, no fining and no enzymes are employed during the winemaking process. The only outside ingredient permitted in the wines is S02, used in small doses. All of the fruit for these wines is organic, the majority of it certified as such. Today Denis Deschamps oversees the whole project.
Winemaking for the wines changes by cuvee but in general reds are destemmed with a short maceration, fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled in April without fining or filtration. Sulfur is only added at bottling and there are no other ingredients used in the winemaking process.
2018 Cuvee de Galets
Grenache (50%), Syrah (25%), Carignan (25%). Organically farmed vines planted on Alluvial marls and clay with ‘galets’ (rounded pebbles typical of the area), with South facing exposure. Fruit for this cuvee comes from multiple co-op members.
2018 Domaine de Fees
Grenache (50%), Syrah (50%).
2018 Domaine les Genestas
Grenache (50%), Syrah (30%), Counoise (20%).
2017 Domaine de Pierredon Rouge
Grenache (50%), Mourvedre (25%), Carignan (25%).