The Chaudière family has been part of the European Cellars portfolio since our founding in 1990 when the Rhône Valley […]Keep Reading
The Chaudière family has been part of the European Cellars portfolio since our founding in 1990 when the Rhône Valley wasn’t really on anyone’s radar, let alone the then backwaters of the region such as Ventoux. How things have changed! Paul and Edith have turned things over to their sons Alex and Fred, and the Ventoux is no longer viewed as an insignificant satellite of the Rhône Valley but an important appellation in its own right. It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the geography of the southern Rhône that the soils in the shadow of Mt Ventoux are rich in limestone, or that these vineyards are located at a higher elevation than in the neighboring Rhône Valley, or that older vines produce more concentrated and complex fruit. At Château Pesquié, all of these conditions combine to create wines that are rich in fruit with remarkable balance and purity.
The Chaudière and Bastide families have now farmed this land for 3 generations. Odette and René purchased the Château in the early 1970s. While the building itself dates to the 1750s, the lands around it have been cultivated since the Roman era. Recent archaeological discoveries have proven that wine was made in this region as early as the 1st century BCE, and the name of the property derives from the Latin name for fish ponds, pescarium – no doubt due to the springs that occur naturally near the Château.
By the mid-1980s, Odette and René’s daughter Edith and her husband Paul Chaudière had taken over the running of the estate. Both left careers in the medical field to return to the family estate and soon found themselves back in school, this time learning how to make wine. In 1989 Château Pesquié was born.
Now in the capable hands of Fred and Alex Chaudière, Edith and Paul’s sons, Château Pesquié comprises 100 hectares of vines. Only organic treatments and composts are used in the vineyard. Weed control is done by turning over the soil, and harvesting is done by hand. There are three main terroirs on the property: rocky limestone clay, red clay, and loamy gray clay. They grow Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Clairette, Viognier, Chardonnay, and Muscat. Their most common and diverse plantings are Syrah and Grenache, each chosen specifically for their soils and exposure. Fortunately, the Ventoux has a cooler micro-climate than the vineyards near the Rhône, so Fred and Alex can be guaranteed a longer and slower ripening of their fruit – especially important for these two varieties. The age of the vines ranges from 20 to well over 80 years old.
All of these elements: good terroir, older vines, organic farming, and hand harvesting ensure that only the best grapes reach the cellar. Once there, Alexander oversees the winemaking utilizing stainless steel tanks for fermentation. Aging takes place in tank, concrete, or barrel depending on variety, and the final blends are carefully made to capture the essence of each cuvée: Terrasses is forward and engaging, Quintessence is concentrated and age-worthy, while Artemia is only made in top vintages and represents the best the estate can offer.Close