Domaine des Amouriers

Year Established: 1979
Location: Sarrians, Vacqueyras
Size: 30 hectares
Varieties: Grenache, Syrah, first planted in the early 1900s
Viticulture: Organic (certified in 2014)
Vinification: Partial destemming. Indigenous yeasts, aging in concrete vats

The name “Amouriers” refers to the mûriers, or mulberry trees, which were historically the main agricultural focus of this area, grown to provide habitat for silkworms. Jocelyn Chudzikiewicz, whose family first planted vines here in the 1920s, was an oenologist by training and a leader in the community of Vacqueyras winemakers until his tragic death in a car accident in 1997. At that time his son Igor was only 15 years old, so Patrick Gras, who had worked for Jocelyn, stepped in to manage the estate until Igor completed his studies in oenology. Igor and Patrick have run the estate since 2008 and together converted it to organic farming, becoming certified in 2014. The vines are grown on garrigues soils: red clay-limestone filled with pebbles and stones, known to produce the herbal flavors and aromas of thyme, sage, and lavender. The vinification is traditional, with partial destemming. The separate vinification of grape varieties and terroirs is carried out in concrete vats, with a maceration of 25 to 35 days. The wines are aged in cement tanks for a period of up to 18 months. The cuvée “Signature” is a predominantly Grenache blend supplemented with Syrah.
Vacqueyras is a neighboring village of the more famous (and far more expensive) Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As you’d expect from wines of the southern Rhône, the Amouriers wines  have lots of fruit and dried herbal notes, and a rich, full mouthfeel.