The Estate of Monardière was created in 1987. Fond of wine, Martine and Christian Vache settled them family vineyard and began a long project of restructuring vines, construction of the cellar and marketing wines. The Estate covers now 20 hectares (70 acres) of vines and markets most its wines directly from the property.
For several years, our philosophy has been simple: to produce expressive wines, representative of our Terroir, our work and variations of vintage. The upkeep of the old vines, a natural vine growing, the less interventionist wine making as possible enable us to make authentic wines.
Located at the foot of Dentelles of Montmirail, AOC Vacqueyras is settled on limestone grounds. In our parcels, we distinguish two types of grounds: clayous-sandy grounds producing fruity wines – particularly adapted to white varieties and syrah ; the clay-stony soils give concentrated wines, and best adapted to produce outstanding Grenache wines.
Our way of working the vine is to get the most qualitative grapes as possible, but also to be able to preserve our vines in order produce even more interesting wines in the coming years. We cherish the oldest vines which are for us the best pledge of quality. That requires much work and patience, but gradually this strategy bears its fruits.
Most of our Grenache and Mourvèdre vines are pruned with the «goblet» shape, leaving on each stump between 4 to 6 arms, each bearing 2 vine shoots each year. It’s perfectly adapted to the Mediterranean climate and the Grenache variety. This system requires patience, it’s longer to grow, and its advantages compared to others systems does are to be seen after a few decades. We use is the « cordon of Royat » too, consisting in establishing the stock over the wire, leaving 5 buds with 2 vine shoots each one. This system is particularly interesting for Syrah and Roussanne, which has falling down ports and fragile wood.
Working the vine
We are working the vine all year long. That enable us to determine the yielding and the conditions of grape maturation : the quality of the crop. Pruning (from the end of November up to the end of March), green harvesting (July-August), and of course the grape harvest (September) are carried out by our team. We pay attention of controlling by ourself most of all these important operations.
We don’t use chemical weed killers nor pesticides, we’are just working the soil.
We use the smallest amout of sulphur and copper to fight against the cryptogamic diseases. The interventions are reasoned and rare, thanks to the Mistral, dry wind which protects us from most of the diseases.
Our vinification methods aim to keep maximum of the grapes potential. Few movements of the must, and almost no enological products are used. 100% hand harvested.
Grapes are sorted, then destemmed and put in concrete tanks. Fermentation takes place thanks to natural and indigenous yeasts. Soft extraction, with a daily pumping-over lasting ten days. For Syrah and some vats of Grenache, we carry out manual pigeage (punching the cap). The maceration lasts from two to three weeks.
Wines are blended in winter following the harvest, and are matured 6 to 24 months, in concrete tanks or oak barrels. Red wines are bottled without fining nor filtration.
Les Calades AOC VACQUEYRAS Red
Grounds: limestone, sandy-clayous
Grape varieties: Grenache 70%, Syrah 20 %, Cinsault 10 %
Average age of vines: 35 years
Yielding: 35 hl/ha Average
Annual production: 10 000 bottles
Wine making: 2 weeks maceration. 6 months maturation in vats.
Les 2 Monardes AOC VACQUEYRAS Red
Grounds: Clayous-limestone, sandstone.
Grape varieties: Grenache 70 %, Syrah 30 %
Average age of the vines: 40 years
Yielding: 32 hl/ha Average
Annual production: 30 000 bottles
Wine making: Maceration is lasting from 2 to 3 weeks, « pigeage » on Syrah.12 months maturation in concrete tanks and oak barrels.
Old Vines AOC VACQUEYRAS red
Grape varieties: Grenache 60 %, Syrah 20 %, Mourvèdre 20 %
Average age of the vines: 60 years
Yielding: 30 hl/ha Average
Annual production: 12 000 bottles
Wine making: 3 weeks maceration, « pigeage » on Syrah.18 months maturation in « demi-muids » (600 l oak barrels).