The first ha of the estate was planted in 1875 and the cellar built up in 1926. It was then the first private cellar of Rasteau. The real start in vine growing started in 1930, when Maurice Leyraud (the grandfather of Jean Pierre Wife) decided to plant Grenache and Carignan, instead of cereals and olive trees.
In 1989, jean Pierre started to work in the estate at 24 years of age, and in 1999 he took over management of the entire estate. At that time, he asked a dear old friend of his, Philippe Cambie to help him with his wine business.
Today, Jean Pierre is running a 20 ha estate and annually produces nearly 200hl in Cotes du Rhone and 500 hl in Rasteau. The estate is composed mostly of Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre, on clay and limestone soil. Harvest is destemmed at 100% and vinification takes place in concrete tanks and old french oak barrels.
Learn More About Rhone Red Blends
The Rhone region of France has a delightful selection of red varieties. There are 22 grapes allowed in the Rhone AOC, about half of them red. Most of these varieties are used as secondary blending partners, often comprising less than 10% of the blend. The primary red players of Rhone blends are Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Most wines from the Southern Rhone use Grenache as their primary grape, while Rhone blends in California and Australia like to change up the order, occasionally using a high percentage of Syrah or sometimes Mourvèdre. Wines from the Northern Rhone are Syrah-based, and if not 100% Syrah, the wine may have Viognier blended in for added color and aromatics. Typical wines termed "rhone blends" will have two or more grapes from the Rhone and occasionally, small percentages of the secondary varieties.
Notable Facts Rhone Blends are a wonderful combination of rustic and ripe - showing their flavors and delicious character upon release, although some Rhone wines, particularly those with a good amount of Syrah, are able to age for a few years. Australia's Rhone blends are often called "GSM" or "SGM" - using the initials of the grapes used, the most predominant variety being the first initial. Australia has also had great success with their Northern Rhone Shiraz+Viognier wine styles. You'll find delicious Rhone blends in California as well - the Central Coast and Santa Barbara regions have a similar climate to the Rhone, and the varietals flourish there. South Africa is another blossoming Rhone blend producer. Blends from all regions are good with juicy, gamey meats and food with common French spices, like rosemary or herbs de Provence.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Rhone, California, Australia, South Africa
Common Descriptors: Gamey, jammy, blackberry, pepper, leather
Learn More About Rasteau, Rhone, France
Rasteau is its own appellation when it comes to vins doux natural (sweet wines) but is only a Côtes du Rhône Village when it comes to dry wines (red, white and rose). As an appellation, the sweet wines produced are almost all Grenache-based and red to brown in color. Similar to Beaumes de Venise, but closer in style to the sweet stickies of Australia. Also known as Rancio. As a Cotes du Rhone Village, Rasteau produces excellent wines, some as high quality as any Rhone AC.