Château de Beaucastel is a fully organic vineyard. It produces some of the best Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines in the appellation. The vineyard dates back to the 16th century, 1549 to be precise, when Pierre de Beaucastel acquired some parcels of land in Coudoulet. The family carved its coat of arms into the walls of the property that was built there some time later and today this same crest is emblazoned on the chateau's wine bottles and printed on its bottle labels. Winemakers who achieve such heights of perfection, especially in the long term, are very unusual. Over the generations, the same level of success has perpetuated and the know-how has been passed on admirably. Today, Jacques Perrin's sons, Jean-Pierre and François, and their respective children Marc, Pierre, Thomas, Cécile, Charles, Matthieu and César, who represent the fifth generation, have taken up the torch. There are 130 hectares of vineyard at Château de Beaucastel but only 100 of these are used, and planted with 13 authorised grape varieties. The vines are, on average, 50 years old and yields are never higher than 30 hectolitres per hectare, often much lower. Chemical fertilisers are prohibited at the property; a ""house"" compost is used instead, and treatments are kept to a minimum. Thanks to these methods, diseases have diminished and insects and birds have come back to the vineyards. Château de Beaucastel was in fact the first vineyard in the Rhône Valley to convert to organic farming in 1950 and biodynamic farming in 1974. In the winery, the grapes are meticulously sorted, having been harvested exclusively by hand. Once they have been stemmed, they are vinified in vats and aged for one year in oak foudres. All the different varieties are kept separate to respect each one's character, aromas and individuality. After barrel-ageing, the wines rest in their bottles for another year at the property. Over the past 15 years, the Perrin family has also acquired vineyards in other appellations with the successful ambition of becoming experts in the south of the Rhône Valley.
About the cuvée
The "Vieilles Vignes" (old vines) cuvée is produced entirely from Roussanne grapes grown from vines aged over 80 years, and a mere 6,000 bottles are produced each year. This exceptional wine has a complexity and balance that bears comparison with the greatest wines of Burgundy. Produced from a slightly overripe harvest, it develops intense aromas of ripe fruit, honey and toast. Creamy and velvety, it has a potential for keeping of between 10 and 20 years.
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