DOMAINE DE FONDRECHE
Nanou Barthélemy and her son Sébastien Vincenti bought the property in 1993, and have improved it with every successive year. Today it ranks at the top of Ventoux producers, known for fresh, terroir-driven wines (what Sebastien calls ‘identi-terres’).
Thirty-eight hectares spread over three communes. The heart of the domaine is the parcel of 28 hectares surrounding the winery: clay-limestone with gravel which produces mainly red wines. Situated on a plateau, it drains beautifully but retains water between 5 and 10 meters. Hence the name Fondreche, or the ‘standing fountain’ in Provencal. This means no hydric stress for the vines, and no risk of excessive water either. The diurnal variation in temperature and the winds ensure good phenolic ripeness while maintaining freshness. The other two parcels are mainly silt and sand, and give rosés and whites with finesse and freshness. These terroirs are generally harvested late for the Rhone valley, but early compared to much of Ventoux. The wines are profound with a mineral streak.
The vineyards are farmed organically (with some biodynamic practices). No herbicide is used, rather there are grassed-in rows, selective ploughing, and the use of sexual confusion for pest problems. Organic fertilizer is used only when necessary. There are limited organic treatments: copper for mildew, sulfur for oidium. Sebastien follows the lunar calendar for the vineyard and cellar.
Gravity is used to move grapes and juice, not pumps. There is a range of special tank sizes to allow optimal vinification and ageing, without racking. The buildings and tanks are temperature-controlled. Wines can be aged in tank, concrete eggs, barriques or large wooden vats, or a combination thereof.