Over the past 30 years the Ventoux region has become an important appellation in its own right rather than an insignificant satellite of the Rhône Valley.The soils in the shadow of Mt Ventoux are rich in limestone and the vineyards are located at a higher elevation than in the neighbouring Rhône Valley. Moreover their 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 1970’s. 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 1980’s 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 Chateau Pesquié, the wine, was born.
Now in the capable hands of Fred and Alex Chaudière, the sons of Edith and Paul, Château Pesquié is comprised of 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 of 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.