For Domaine la Bouïssiere, it is here where it all started, in the great valley flanked on one side by the Dentelles and the other by the Col du Cayron. The vineyards of La Grande Bouïssiere (the plot’s name) were planted between 1963 and 1966, both the large slope and the terraces. The view from here is striking; yet when you work these slopes through the seasons, your perspective is not necessarily the same as that of hikers who enjoy these paths during the summer months.
Planted on scree from the Quaternary geological period, La Grande Bouïssiere is a true mountain vineyard. Here the careful maintenance of contoured terraces, interspersed with native bushes and plants, helps prevent erosion.
It is an austere landscape, rough and stony, steeply sloped (from 300 to 500 meters) and facing northwest. In general, there is less sunshine here than in our other vineyards. From late December to late January, the sun’s rays don’t even touch these rocky slopes.
The wines produced from these slopes are fresher, more chiseled, longer and sleeker; they offer a frame of beautiful, refined tannins that deliver a profound mineral sensation. When I drink these wines, this is what I feel: a noble austerity. This refinement is strengthened by the scent of wild garrigue that the grapes’ bloom seems to mysteriously capture and absorb from the air.
The geologist Georges Truc offers some insight to understanding the magic of this land. In particular, he clarified exactly how a vine, plunging its roots into clay from the Valanginian age, buried deep under the rubble of the Dentelles, opens “the doors of alumino-silicates stores, rich in trace metals” as well as water, for which the vine has the greatest need.
For some time, I felt as if I needed to fight against the rough landscape of the Dentelles. Gradually, over the years, I have learned to “listen” to the land instead. Today, I see these imposing cliffs more as a partner.