Domaine Gueissard

Gueissard was born of a passion for the art of winemaking and a determination to produce only the best wines from Côtes de Provence and Bandol. Working together, Pauline and Clément are experts of the local vine and soil, both attended oenology schools and trained in New Zealand and Australia before settling back to Provence where they worked at prestigious estates for a few years.

After interning at Bandol producer Domaine Tempier for two years and then working as assistant winemaker for another three, Clement Minne and his partner Pauline Giraud decided to set out on their own and begin producing and releasing wines under their own label.

Clement began accumulating a number of parcels around the eight communes that make up Bandol, naming the domaine Gueissard after one of their Bandol parcels.

In a short time they put together an unbelievable patchwork of thirty acres of small parcels in the best section of Bandol at “La Cadiére and Beausset” and in the surrounding Cotes de Provence appellation.

The cellar is new and modern and they made their first vintage in 2011.

Renting parcels allows them to have access to the best vineyards, the best grapes and to focus on their winemaking ability.

Philosophy

The goal is to work organically, but for the moment they are firmly in the sustainable camp, converting their vineyards little by little to organic viticulture.

The low yields aims to nurture the delicate palette and fragrances of Provence in all of their wines. Their approach is based on a philosophy rooted in traditional know-how combined with modern techniques.

All the grapes are hand harvested and quickly transported to the winery to cool off the must. Since their main production is rosé wines, preserving aromas and freshness is a priority.

Gueissard vineyards offer a wide range of wines, the Côtes de Provence rosé “les Papilles” is made from grapes grown on clay and limestone soil on terraced hillsides. Harvested in crates to avoid oxidation, the grapes are sorted out on site and then fully de-stemmed at the winery. They undergo a cold maceration on skins for about twenty percent of the must while the rest is directly pressed. The fermentation is done in temperature controlled steel tanks and the bottling follows the lunar calendar. The malo lactic fermentation is blocked to preserve acidity.

The result is a crisp salmon pink colored wine with aromas of raspberry, lychee and a lingering finish.

The red Côtes de Provence wines are made of a blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The fermentation last for thirty days after a long maceration and the wine mature in oak barrels for six months. Deep red colors with purple hue, concentrated aromas of thyme and red fruits combination, they show structure and fragrance.

The major grape in Bandol is Mourvedre, the latest ripening and most structured of the Provencal varieties. Because of its thick skin, Mourvedre needs a long, warm growing season that is ideal in Provence. It has a distinctive taste of spices and brings a lot of structure to any blend of wines.

Gueissard Bandol rosé is a blend of Mourvedre, Cinsault and Grenache, aged in stainless-steel tanks. The Grenache and Cinsault undergo a short skin contact but the Mourvedre is pressed directly to avoid too much coloration.

This rich rosé is ripe with red-berry fruits, mango and peach. Full in the mouth, it shows a touch of spiciness from the Mourvèdre and a salty minerality.

The Bandol rouge is a blend of mainly Mourvedre with a bit of Cinsault and Grenache.  It is fermented with Indigenous yeasts and aged in large demi-muids

(600 liter barrels) for 18 months.

Juicy with plenty of fruit and well-integrated tannins, this wine is earthy and highly enjoyable.

Finally, the winery also produces a lovely Côtes de Provence white made of Vermentino, Clairette and Ugni blanc, medium to full-bodied texture wine that shows freshness, crisp acidity and aromas of citrus, grapefruit and exotic notes.

ClŽment Minne et Pauline Giraud
Vignobles Gueissard
Bandol