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  • Time

    09:47 AM
  • Wine average?

    89 Tb
  • Country Ranking?

    910
  • Region Ranking?

    2
  • Popularity ranking?

    250

History

La Gordonne may be a dream, or even a myth, but when you are there, all of Provence becomes a reality.

‘There, you can learn the art of doing nothing at all, living at nature's pace, amidst the vines and the sunshine. Relax in a summery lounge chair in front of the Château, to read or watch the clouds float by, while lulled by the sound of birds and crickets. Take a stroll in the natural schist cirque where the vines grow, producing grapes that will be used to make Château La Gordonne's sun-drenched wines—the essence of summer. This estate is so intensely close to nature, so wild and so beautiful. It was built upon the dreams of craftsmen passionate about their wine. Little by little, they built one of the largest and most beautiful wine-growing estates in Provence.

La Gordonne may be a dream, or even a myth, but when you are there, all of Provence becomes a reality. In the shade of its palm trees, Château La Gordonne resembles its wines: warm, refined, and—in a word—radiant. ’

Paul-François Vranken 

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Vineyards

The Château la Gordonne is one of the largest properties in Provence with over 350 hectares, 300 of which are vines. The Pierrefeu terroir in the Massif des Maures is an exceptional site. In its beautiful setting within a natural schist crater, the Château La Gordonne vineyard enjoys a very special microclimate. Its winters are mild and the summers are hot and dry, sometimes scorching, which means that the vines can soak up all the strength of the Provençal sun, with 3,000 hours of sunshine a year.

The Mistral, a dry, strong wind, plays a major role as it sweeps across the plantations, protecting the vines from damp-related diseases. The vines are grown on a limestone and clay plain and on the schist slopes. The soil has little humus and is permeable, shallow, stony and well-drained, bringing together the ideal conditions for the vines to flourish.

A wide range of varietals typical to Provence can be found at our estate. These include Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, Tibouren, Rolle, and Sémillon. These noble varietals allow us to produce rosé, white and red wines, all with the AOC Côtes de Provence appellation.

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Winemaking

Provençal vineyards are conditioned by their climate, which is characterised by low rainfall and the mistral, the strong north wind that purifies the atmosphere and limits parasites.
For these reasons, planting density (2.5 m’ per vine) is suited to the soil's moisture potential. The vines are pruned short, generally using the double cordon technique, to ensure even distribution of the bunches in the fruit-bearing zone and limited production, which guarantees the products' concentration.

Finally, due to the Mediterranean climate, the soils are very low in organic matter, a characteristic specific to the Provençal terroir. A large majority of the vineyard is treated with organic manure from sheep farms in La Crau, in Bouches-du-Rhône, near the vineyard.

 

‘Château La Gordonne has harvested all of its grapes at night, using machines, for nearly 20 years. We started harvesting some grapes by hand in 2008. By harvesting under the moonlight, we make the most of the cool night-time temperatures since we are so close to the sea. During the day, the temperature can easily exceed 35°C in the shade of the vine leaves. In August and September, the Mediterranean climate helps the grapes soak up sunlight to stock up on complex fruity, floral, and spicy flavours.

At night, these notes take on a more sophisticated nature. After 11 pm, the temperature drops rapidly, falling below 20°C after midnight. Then, the grapes are cool, and their flavours are naturally protected from oxidation, and we can start harvesting, in the cool night air. We taste the berries to get a sense of the grapes' full flavour and aroma. 

 

Fermentation helps make wines with great finesse. It occurs in clear juices, so first the juices must be clarified, which means eliminating the large particles from the skins and the pulp... The alcoholic fermentation process takes place at a low temperature, to preserve the varietal and ferment aromas as much as possible. The wine is kept in stainless steel or coated cement vats to preserve the rosés' qualities. Rosé wines, such as the Cirque des Grives cuvée, are raised on fine lees.

 

The skin is the only part of the grape to contain coloured pigments. The wines' colour is determined by the length of contact between the grape skins and pulp during maceration. But different varietals have varying degrees of anthocyanins, the substances that give grapes their colour.

The choice of varietal is therefore very important to a rosé's final colour. The chosen winemaking method also plays an important role in colour. Wines made through direct pressing are very pale in general, often referred to as ‘flesh’ or ‘salmon’-coloured. For saignéewines, maceration time plays a key role in colour, with intensity increasing the longer the pulp and skins are in contact. Finally, the diversity of the Provençal terroir also explains the extensive colour variation in the region's rosés. 

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Inside information

Château La Gordonne has always had wide appeal. As early as the 1st century BC, the Romans set up on the site of La Gordonne to take advantage of its vines and its wines, but above all, to enjoy the exceptional microclimate of La Gordonne's schist crater.

In 1300, the Carthusians from the La Verne monastery near Pierrefeu du Var began working the vineyard. Sully, a fine connoisseur, stayed at La Gordonne several times, although it was known as ‘La Mayon d'Aurran’ at the time. The estate was planted with vines and olive trees, and took its name from Conseiller de Gourdon, who owned it from 1650 to 1663. Then in 1663, the Conseiller de Dedons, Lord of Pierrefeu, bought part of the Aurran property known as ‘La Gordonne’ and its house, vines, and olive trees.

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6 different wines with 7 vintages

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