The first traces of the vineyards in the good earth of La Gordonne in Provence hark back to the first century B.C. The Romans would bring their vine plants to this sun-filled region where they would thrive despite the arid climate. In the Middle Ages the nearby Chartreuse monks would cultivate the vineyards and the Sieur Gourdon acquired the land in 1650 conferring upon the property the name La Gordonne in 1652 with its first harvests.
A sturdy castle was built there in the 18th century and today the Vranken family has meticulously restored the property, a Provençal marvel, and elaborates a collection of wines, including the famous Côtes de Provence rosé wines. Three years of restoration work by some of the finest craftsmen in France have rendered this jewel box of a castle surrounded by gardens and joyful fountains a marvelous place to visit with its fine furniture and art collections and where a wine room dedicated to tastings awaits. Meanwhile a palm tree lined aisle takes you into the gardens which look out onto the Maures mountain range and are in the process of receiving the Remarkable Garden label. Not to be missed is the rose garden.
But the estate’s glorious rosés remain the leading attraction emanating from the estate’s organic 330 hectare (815 acres) vineyard featuring the classic grape varieties of the region: Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvèdre. And since 2009, the estate conducts its harvests at night to preserve the freshness of the aroma of the grapes.
At The Gourmet Gazette we recently tasted the estate’s latest AOP Côte de Provence rose: the La Gordonne Multi-Millésime which was light and fruity and consistent but was bold enough to accompany smoked trout. Another nice choice is the estate’s La Chapelle Gordon Rosé AOC Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu Contrôlée 2021 vintage blending together the Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault varieties into a silky fresh and fruity wine that has received the High Environmental Value Certification. The original vineyards of Provence are regarded as the oldest in France. The Château La Gordonne is open for visits and tastings from April 1 to August 31.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
Categories: Gourmet Fare