Domaine de l'Orviel
Sitting in the cooler climate of the base of the Cévennes mountains, not far from Avignon, Domaine de l’Orviel, or Old Gold in the ancient language Oc, wonderfully symbolizes the golden color of the Viognier, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Roussanne grapes that occupy half of the Domaine’s 25 hectares. The remaining hectares are dedicated to a variety of reds, including Petit Verdot, Grenache, and Syrah.
Domaine de l’Orviel’s history is relatively recent as Domaine de l’Orviel has only been making its own wines since 2002. In 2018, after 13 years of working as a key oenology advisor and technical director for some of the area’s “cooperatifs” and various vineyards, one of which being Domaine de l’Orviel, Adrien Debaud took ownership of the domain to finally be able to make “his wines, his way” which often means by hand, applying traditional methods and paying special attention to the details.
Adrien Debaud, a graduate of ENSAM Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon in Viticulture-Oenology, has a simple philosophy: passionately take the time. Early signs are very promising as Domaine de l’Orviel has recently won several regional and national awards.
Domaine des Pothiers
The Côte Roannaise is considered a “confidential region”, located in the southernmost part of the Loire River Valley. Côte Roannaise appellation has roughly 230 hectares of Gamay Saint-Romain vines, with most of the vineyards sitting at an altitude of 1000-1500 feet.
Domaine des Pothiers is in the southern part of the appellation and has been in the family for centuries. Recent history dates to 1916, when the Romain Paire’s great Aunt and her husband, Claude Paire, took over the estate from Blaise Pothiers. Since then, it has been passed down from father to son and in 2005, Romain joined his parents to run the estate. In addition to continuing to balance modernization with traditional farming, Romain successfully transitioned the entire vineyard to organic / biodynamic viticulture.
In 2014, Romain Paire was named “Discovery of the Year” by France’s leading wine magazine La Revue du Vin de France. During all of this, Romain has remained focused on creating wines that reflect the terroir: the freshness of the altitude, the minerality of the granite soil, and the fruitiness of the Gamay Saint-Romain grape. No wonder some of France’s top sommeliers and wine critics have taken notice!
Domaine des Coutures
Domaine des Coutures is located in the heart of the Saumur-Champigny region, nestled between the forest of Fontevraud Abbey and the Loire river, in an area the Romans named Campus Igni (Field of Fire) for its exceptionally warm microclimate. In addition to its perfect location, the beauty of the vineyard was rewarded when it was chosen to represent the Loire Valley for the World Heritage listing by UNESCO. The Domaine has been in the family for six generations and is now in the capable hands of Vincent Nicolas.
After more than a decade pursuing a career in consulting and business, Vincent Nicolas chose to return to his native land to take over the operations. Land, vine, and wine have been the pillars of the family for generations and in 2009, it was Vincent’s turn to write a new chapter in the history of the estate.
“It took five generations of winemakers a good dose of tenacity, knowledge passed religiously from one generation to the next and a touch of madness to bottle our passion and our love of simple yet delicious things and share it with you today...” Vincent Nicolas.
Domaine Joseph Scharsch
The beginnings of Domaine Joseph Scharsch date back to 1755, when records show the marriage of Catherine Schirr to Joseph Scharsch, a local winemaker. Since then, eight generations of winemakers have successively developed this vineyard.
Located in Wolxheim, in the heart of "Vineyards of the Golden Crown", 20 km southwest of Strasbourg, the 35 plots of the estate are spread throughout the five surrounding municipalities, and each having its own terroir, with their own combination of soil and exposure. While the estate has continued to produce grapes, it suffered during WWI and it was not until 1972 that the vineyard had its modern Renaissance when Joseph Scharsch, Nicolas’s father, revived the viticulture and began to commercialize its wines shortly after. Since 2009, the entire estate has been dedicated to organic production, without herbicides, fertilizers, or chemical products.
Today, Nicolas Scharsch is head of the estate and continues to embrace organic viticulture and the idea that vines grown organically produce less but superior quality grapes, and it is clearly working. Nicolas Scharsch was awarded the 2019 Winemaker of the Year by Le Guide Hachette des Vins.