We established Domaine de Mourchon in 1998 with the purchase of 17 hectares of existing vines. Until that point the fruit from these vines had been vinified at the local co-operative and so it was necessary to both build a winery and create a brand at the same time. We were convinced by the outstanding ‘terroir’ and the quality of the vines (average age 55 years) and commissioned the building of a state-of-the art gravity-flow winery, which was completed just in time for the 1999 harvest. Joined in 2000 by winemaker Sebastien Magnouac, Mourchon soon began to make a name for itself and in 2003 a further 7 hectares of vines were purchased in order to supply an ever-increasing demand from both the international and domestic market.
Mourchon and the McKinlays
The story of Domaine de Mourchon and the McKinlay family begins back in Scotland in the 1970s, when Walter McKinlay and his wife Ronnie chose an excellent Vacqueyras as the house wine for her restaurant at The Udny Arms Hotel in Aberdeenshire. Thus the family interest in the wines of the southern Cotes du Rhone began.
Some years later, having sold his business in information technology, Walter turned his attention back to the southern Cotes du Rhone, seeking a small established vineyard to which he and his wife might retire. Despite the fact that the land at Mourchon had no winery and no house, this outstanding terroir set in an extraordinarily beautiful location beneath the slopes of Mont Ventoux could not be denied. So Walter, (never really the retiring kind!) purchased the vineyard and set about the double challenge of building a winery and establishing a brand.
Not long after, Walter and Ronnie were joined by daughter Kate and son-in-law Hugo Levingston who, along with their three children, have helped establish Domaine de Mourchon as a family-run, independent winery with a reputation for ‘outstanding purity and high quality winemaking’.