Domain: Clos Cibonne
Discover the story of an iconic Provencal estate that has proven it is absolutely possible to produce great characterful wines there, whether they’re rosé, red or white. It’s also a perfect opportunity to taste the local tibouren grape, so recently on the verge of disappearing from vineyards in Provence.
Domaine Clos Cibonne is ideally situated between Toulon and Hyères in the commune of Pradet, near the cape of Carqueiranne and perched on the rolling hills of Colle Noire, which rise above the red rock cliffs falling into the turquoise Mediterranean. The domaine bears the namesake of former owner, Jean-Baptiste de Cibon. The estate was sold after his death in 1797 to ancestors of the Roux family whose successive generations have lived and worked on this property ever since. In the 1930s the estate was converted exclusively to winegrowing, under the command of André Roux who foresaw the immense success of Provencal rosé. Roux was a pioneering winegrower, choosing to cultivate the original and little-known variety of Tibouren. He removed five hectares of old vines, jealously preserving a few old specimens of this varietal whose grafts have enabled the gradual replanting of the whole vineyard, though he added some Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah to qualify for the Côtes de Provence appellation. Although we may find some Tibouren in other Provencal wines today, Clos Cibonne remains the principal ambassador of this varietal in France and, no doubt, the world!