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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
This Vacqueyras is composed mostly of Grenache, supplemented with some Syrah and Mourvèdre. These 60-year-old vines are cultivated in clay-limestone soil, and their yields are controlled at 30 hl/ha. The grapes are harvested by hand, with careful sorting on tables, coupled with 100% destemming. The grapes are fermented with native yeasts, and macerated for three weeks. The wine is then matured for 18 months in demi-muid casks (600 litres) before being bottled without fining or filtration. This wine will keep for a good ten years, turning a meat dish in sauce into something special.
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