Domaine des Bosquets

Records dating since 1376, indicate the existence of "vinea culta" at the lieu-dit "Les Bosquets" in Gigondas. It is in this precise spot that Jean de Riviere, Lord of Laval, built Domaine des Bosquets in 1644. It comprised a tower alongside a vast Provencial farmhouse overlooking the Rhône Valley. Several iconic personalities are known to have stayed here.

Eugène Raspail is at the origin of the development of the estate and Gigondas from 1861. Born in Gigondas in 1812, he became a Lawyer and a vigneron later in life. He was a strong believer in the new Republic and was elected Deputy of the Vaucluse for a while. After a tumultuous life, he returned to Gigondas after having spent a few years in exile in Italy. He inherited an estate from his father and also purchased the Domaine des Bosquets with its 37 ha. He planted a further 9 hectares the following year and another 26 ha the following years. By 1864, his wine business had become so important that even Napoleon III approved a reward for his work. He was also dedicated to his passion of archaeology and geology making him the first person to note in detail the geological complexity of Gigondas. Unfortunately all his efforts were decimated with the arrival of the phylloxera in the 1870s. He returned to politics until 1881 and retired and passed away in Gigondas in 1888. One of his biographers, Robert Bailly, noted: "Eugène Raspail had given an intelligent and necessary impulse to improve yields and especially bring a greater awareness of the wines of Gigondas. May be - but surely - thanks to his dynamic action the commune was able to obtain the appellation Gigondas".

A century later, it is another visionary, Gabriel Meffre, who takes the reins of the Domaine and gives it back all its nobility. In 1930, he bought his first vines in Gigondas and in 1936 became a Négociant-Eleveur (winegrower-négociant). He invested in vineyards in the Rhone Valley and Provence until the beginning of the 1980's. With 800 hectares of vines purchased, he became the biggest owner of AOC vines in France. Over the years his acquisitions included Château de Vaudieu in Châteauneuf du Pape, Domaine des Bosquets and Château de la Coulerette in Provence, just to name a few. In 1987 he passed away and these three estates were inherited by his daughter Sylvette Bréchet who took over the destiny of the Domaines. Under her leadership, her son Laurent Bréchet, joined her in the development of Domaine des Bosquets by building a completely new cellar shaped as a circular Provencial Chapel, improving the winemaking process by gravity and also building an underground ageing cellar.

In 2006, it is her other son Julien who takes over the management of the estate with a great determination to further improve the quality with the oenologist consultant Philippe Cambie. Laurent is now concentrating his efforts on managing the family's main estate Château de Vaudieu in Châteauneuf du Pape. The Bréchet family has now been making wines in Gigondas for over 5 generations.

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