TERROIR

The terroir at Domaine de Mourchon can be approximately divided into three types.

1st type : Sausse – Early ripening (Grenache)

Altitude : 270m
The ground here is made up from a harmonious mix of limestone, grey marl and clay. It is permeable, the grey marl is deep and holds the water. This type of ground is perfect for the development of Grenache.

2nd type : Loubié – Average ripening (Syrah and Cinsault)

Altitude : 320m
These vines are planted on a base of calcareous clay which brings a powerful and rich characteristic to the wines. This side of the vineyard has more sand mixed in with the limestone and is therefore well suited to the finesse and elegance of the Syrah grape variety.

3rd type : Mourchon – Late ripening (Grenache, Carignan and Syrah)

Altitude : 350m

The ground here is made up from a harmonious mix of limestone and grey marl which forms a rocky base with very little top soil. The first layer of limestone fragments store the heat and allow permeability. Underneath this the marl holds the water and contains the natural trace elements found deeper down which are essential for the development of the vines and bring the important phenolic content to the fruit. These vineyards are on South facing slopes and the extra heat and good drainage is perfect for the Grenache.

THE REGION

Domaine de Mourchon lies in the beautiful Dentelles de Montmirail hills at the centre of a triangle made up of Mont Ventoux in the East, Vaison-la-Romaine to the North and Avignon to the South-West. Thus it is to be found at the heart of not only some of the region’s best vine growing country, but also at the heart of the Vaucluse region – Provence at its most historical and most picturesque!
Classified as amongst France’s most beautiful villages (an official list of 140), the medieval village of Séguret is perched on a limestone outcrop, just to the north of Gigondas. From here it offers spectacular views over the entire Rhône valley, illuminated by the warm intensity of the famed Provencal light sought by the Impressionists and countless artists since.
This is great touring country, with mountain-biking and hiking in the hills, more sedate walking and cycling along the backroads and by-ways, colourful weekly markets in Nyons, Vaison-la-Romaine and Carpentras, roman remains at Vaison and Orange, the 14th century papal palace in Avignon, all set in a landscape of vines, ‘garrigue’ and lavender.

THE ‘APPELLATION’

The wines of Séguret are classified under the French Appelation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) system. This complex regulatory system aims to guarantee quality and tradition in the production of French wine, including criteria based on yields, territory, grape varieties and harvesting techniques. To be granted an AOP, a wine must also undergo analysis and tasting to ensure its quality and that it conforms to local characteristics.

Read more

The wealth of tradition in French winemaking that has developed many of the world’s most highly regarded wines is worth protecting and nurturing. The AOP system recognises that France’s best wines are not solely concerned with ‘expressing the best of the grape’ as many new world wines might be categorised. In France, there is as much concern with ‘expressing the terroir‘ – the environment that the grapes were grown in; the minerality of the land, its exposure to wind, rain and sun, the way certain grape varieties are affected by these characteristics. Thus a grape variety grown in one part of France may produce a wine completely distinct from another produced from the same variety in a different region.

The Côtes du Rhône region stretches 250 km along the sides of the river Rhône valley from just south of Lyon in the North, to Avignon in the South. As such it is one of France’s largest wine producing regions and includes a broad variety of different geologies and climates. To further distinguish the better wines of the region, the AOP system divides the Côtes du Rhône into a series of subdivisions :
First there are the ‘Crus’ – the best known wines of the region with the strongest reputations and strictest controls. These are wines produced in specific areas where the quality and style of the wine are both sufficiently high and distinct that the name of the commune and its reputation alone are considered sufficent to brand its wines. In the north of the region this includes such wines as Crozes Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, and in the south (around Mourchon) includes Gigondas, Tavel and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Furthermore, in the south of the region there is an area within AOP considered of higher quality and reputation than the rest of the region. This group of 95 villages is branded ‘Côtes du Rhône Villages’ and 18 of these villages are considered to be sufficiently distinct and of consistently high quality that they are permitted to display the name of their village alongside the Côtes du Rhône Villages appelation. In order to achieve this higher status, producers must adhere to much stricter criteria concerning yield and viticultural techniques. These individual Côtes du Rhône Villages wines tend to be both more concentrated and more characterful with a marked improvement in quality.

Our village of Séguret is one such village, where the wines are labelled Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret and are steadily gaining in reputation. Domaine de Mourchon is widely recognised to be leading this development.