Domaine De Montirius

Montirius is a beautiful spot on the foothills of the “Dentelles de Montmirail” that are themselves foothills of the highest peak in Provence, Mont Ventoux, which is situated just to the east.

To make it simple, you are in Provence, in Vacqueyras and if you look up you can see Gigondas..! The Saurel family have been farming for a few generation this land and you will rarely meet more passionate wine growers than Eric and Christine Saurel.

We are the epicenter of biodynamic viticulture as Montirius fifty-eight hectares domaine in Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Côtes du Rhone appellation have been converted to bio-dynamic culture since 1996. For those not familiar with bio dynamie, this is a form of alternative agriculture very similar to organic farming but it includes various esoteric concepts drawn from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner.

Philosophy

Bio-dynamics has much in common with other organic approaches – it emphasizes the use of manures and composts and excludes the use of artificial chemicals on soil and plants. Methods unique to the biodynamic approach include its treatment of crops and soil as a single system, an emphasis from its beginnings on local production and distribution systems, its use of traditional and development of new local breeds and varieties. Some methods use an astrological sowing and planting calendar.

Bio-dynamic agriculture uses various herbal and mineral additives for compost additives and natural field sprays to fight pest and diseases.

Obviously, everything produced on this property is extremely natural and the wines show an exceptional balance, particularly resistant to hydric stresses that are quite common in Provence.

Montirius flagship is the Vacqueyras “les clos” an eight hectares single parcel planted with thirty years old Grenache and Syrah vines growing on blue Helvetian marl and the most complex of clays “Montmorillonite.

The yields are as low as twenty hectoliters per hectares, the grapes are hand-harvested and totally de-stemmed, fermented in cement tanks with indigenous yeasts and aged for two years. No new oak is used.

The Vacqueyras Garrigues is a lovely wine, released earlier but made in the same spirit of quality than the Vacqueyras white, a blend of Grenache, Roussanne and Bourboulenc  which is well-balanced and quite as appealing as any northern Rhone whites. The Gigondas is made from seventy years old low yielding vines and it shows an unbelievable silky texture and very soft tannins.

The domaine also produces a range of affordable white, rosé and red Cotes du Rhône made following the same principles of Bio-dynamic culture.