Domaine de Villeneuve
An industry leader with years of winemaking tradition
The current property that makes up the Domaine de Villenueve was purchased in a state of great neglect by the de Blicquy and Wallut families in 1993. The estate is comprised of 20 acres of older vines, from 30 years to over 100 years old. It is made up of a mixture of soils including red clay and sand, including the signature river-smoothed cobblestones known as galets roules. It is comprised of a number of varietals including Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Cinsault, Clairette, Muscardin and Vaccerese.
Domaine de Villenueve’s location in the northern part of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Appellation is immediately adjacent to highly regarded Château de Beaucastle, arguably the area’s finest single wine. This proximity speaks well for Domaine de Villenueve’s fruit, which has improved favorably under the present ownership.
The estate is also completely biodynamic, making it somewhat unique in that section of the Rhône Valley. It is also certified by ECOCERT and uses no chemicals except sulphur. The term Châteauneuf-du-Pape originated in the 14th Century (1308) when Pope Clement V relocated the papal residency to Avignon. The term literally means ‘new home of the pope’ and had become synonymous with hearty red wines from the Rhône Valley.
Stanislas Wallut - Winemaker
As in a number of European and French wine producing regions, winemakers in the southern Rhône take a distinct back seat to the properties historical and commerce reputations.
At Domaine de Villeneuve, Stanislas Wallut, son of one of the owners is the winemaker. He is a proponent of biodynamic farming and has strict policies concerning his winemaking techniques.
The Rhône Valley, France
Of the four main French wine producing regions (along with Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne), the wonderfully picturesque Rhône Valley has developed legions of followers during the past two centuries.
There are several reasons for this growth in popularity. First of all, the Southeastern location provides a gentler, more regulated growing season. Also, the region benefits from a more flexible appellation that allows for multiple varietal inclusion. Foremost beneficiary is the renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, where thirteen different varietals are allowed in the makeup of its well-respected wines.
In America, Châteauneuf-du-Pape has grown in popularity for the past fifty years. It is one of the French wines that is easy to pronounce and the diversity and complexity of wines produced within its boundaries allows for a wide variety of taste experiences. Its wines are also very dependable, particularly in years when its Bordeaux and Burgundy cousins produce less than stellar wines.
France: Fun Facts!
• France produces over 400 types of cheese!
• Mont-Blanc is the highest peak in Europe.
• French is the official language of many countries, including Switzerland, Canada, Ivory Coast, Luxembourg, Monaco, Congo and Niger.
• The number of times the French kiss each other as a form of greeting varies depending on the region. In Corsica, the number of kisses can be as many as 5!
• The region of Bordeaux alone has over 9,000 different châteaux (wine producing estates).
• France is about the same size as Texas, with twice the population of California.
• The French have one of the highest life expectancies in Europe.
• Famous French inventions include the hot air balloon, the submarine, and the parachute.
• There are over 450 wine appellations in France!
• France is the most visited country in the world, with 75 million tourists yearly.
• France has the most extensive railway system in Western Europe. High-speed trains traveling up to 200 mph are used by commercial rail companies.
• The Statue of Liberty, one of the most widely recognized structures of the United States, was made in France. It was then gifted to the U.S. in 1886 to celebrate its centennial.
• The Tour de France, the most famous bicycle race in the world, is an annual event in France in which cyclists cover over 2,100 miles in 23 days.
• There are 7 mountain ranges in France: Pyrenees, Alps, Auvergne, Vosges, Jura, Morvan, and Corsica.