Domaine du Colombier

Domaine du Colombier

Established by Gaby Viale in 1939, this 17 hectare estate is today run by his charming son Florent. The vineyard holdings in Crozes-Hermitage are close to the domaine on the eastern side of the hill of Hermitage. Syrah is planted primarily around Mercurol on an alpine soil of clay/sand/gravel over limestone whilst the whites are grown on steeper, poorer soils closer to the hill. The Viale’s are also proud owners of 1.8 hectares of Hermitage vineyard in the lieux-dits of Beaumes, Diognieres and Torras et les Garennes. In the cellar, he likes to ferment using some whole bunches, depending on the parcel and has turned to using 600 litre demi-muids for maturing his more concentrated wines; Gaby and Hermitage whereas the earlier drinking cuvées are aged 50-60% in wood. The white is 80% fermented in tank with 20% in oak.

Rhône Valley
FRANCE

It is one of those places that inspire.

With its central alley bordered by maritime pines, its hectares of natural areas and its 19th century buildings, the Domaine du Colombier is impregnated with grapes and lulled by the waves of the Ardèche.
Once land dedicated to rice cultivation, part of the 30 hectares of the estate has been sculpted for several decades by the ranks of vines.
The cellar, with a dizzying grandeur, is the place for assemblies and friendly tastings, in the freshness of stone.

The vault and the land are installed at the entrance to Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, at the gates of the Gorges de l’Ardèche. Three buildings welded to each other tell a family story, a story of winemakers who have succeeded one another.

Since December 2020, the Dupré family, owner of the Domaine de Vigier in Lagorce for 50 years, has adopted the Domaine du Colombier in Vallon-Pont d’Arc and works every day to honor the winemaker spirit of the place.

Each member of the Dupré family participates in shaping the vine, growing the grapes, vinifying and sharing the precious liquid made with care.

Viticulture

Unsuspected. The Domaine du Colombier vineyard covers 30 hectares, populated by vines, alfalfa fields, young olive trees and meadows. Here, water is everywhere. The vineyard is bordered by the Ardèche river, not far from the famous Pont d’Arc and the Chauvet cave. It is also crossed by the Paris stream, fed by a Roman source. This rare environment gives birth to a precious ecosystem, populated by amphibians, dragonflies, pheasant hens, egrets, asherons, deer…Sometimes, a colony of storks settles for a stop! At the edge of the Domaine, is the amleographic garden of the Colombier. Eighteen different grape varieties allow the visitor to observe the leaves, clusters, twigs and inflorescences according to the seasons. From Hamburg muscat to Merlot, from Marsanne to Syrah, common grape varieties are present. The curious visitor will also find the older grape varieties, called “hybrids” such as Couderc B.13, the famous Jacquet or Clinton. The terroir of the Domaine du Colombier, in IGP Ardèche, is particularly fertile. From the banks of the river to the hillsides at the entrance to the Gorges de l’Ardèche, the stony and deep soils, lined with silt and sand are the trace of a history in which water has played a major role. The microclimate of the Vallon Pont-d’Arc plain combines the advantages of the Mediterranean climate and a significant water supply. These rare geological conditions allow the grapes to take the time to ripen and create a wine less loaded with alcohol. Like a long-awaited slowdown, giving wine qualities of freshness, welcome at the height of summer. The soil is worked or left grassed naturally, which makes it possible to preserve a diversity of plants, flowers, and insects. Ten grape varieties are grown at Domaine du Colombier ( Grenache, Syrah, Merlot, Carignan, Cabernet, Viognier, Cinsault, Vermentino, Sauvignon and Chardonnay). If the average age of vine plants is 15 years, some vines are up to 90 years old and still produce delicious grapes today.

Winemaking

Like the Domaine, the cellar has existed since the end of the 19th century. Built of limestone and pebbles on the edge of Ardèche, the cellar, a place dedicated to winemaking, assembly and tasting, has retained an authentic spirit. In this temple of the vine, traces of the past are numerous. Like this majestic press that lets you imagine the scenes of yesteryear. Or these barrels, barrels of very large capacity, which have housed liters of wine for more than a century. Even more atypical, these gigantic tanks, dressed in earthenware, in which the visitor can immerse himself in silence during an autonomous visit. On the cellar side, the monumental concrete tanks, still used today, provide great thermal inertia, micro oxygenation and a regulatory aspect that gives the wine purity and stability. The culmination of a year of work, winemaking is a key moment to move from the vine to the bottle. At Domaine du Colombier, the grapes are tasted. Since the summer, before the harvest until the end of autumn, Grégory Dupré, cellar master and creator of aromas, does not miss any step to create the wines of the Colombier. This attention is found at every stage, from the harvest at maturity, at night for certain grape varieties, to the thermo-regulation of the vats, depending on the grapes. But making wine is above all not to rush it, let it rest, get cold, hibernate, decant. And discover a clearer, finer wine, a wine to taste, immediately! The members of the Dupré family, independent winemakers, take care and watch over the grapes at every stage of their lives. Stéphane is active in the vineyards, Grégory feasts in the cellar and Marjorie initiates the cellar. The trio of the Domaine du Colombier carries a delicate, flattering and feminine wine. A wine of the present to drink all year round.

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