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Saint Jean du Barroux
Region: France - Provence
Domaine Saint Jean du Barroux is owned by Philippe Gimel, a master of all things Rhône. He learned his trade at Beaucastel, La Janasse, Pierre Bise and Château Devès. After such a start he was bound to make his mark and with his own vines on the foothills of Mont Ventoux, the highest mountain in Provence that mark has been made emphatically.
From day one, Philippe has not pandered to the latest fads or fashions, staying true to his terroir: no wood, no chemicals, no compromise.Philippe's own statement of his guiding philosophy is as elegant as it is possible to articulate: "Tous les jours, la vigne et le vin nous étonnent et nous font découvrir quelque chose de nouveau." With this philosophy and with just 15 hectares of vines (37 acres) in upwards of 70 micro-plots planted with seven varieties of grape, Philippe makes sublime wine.
The soil is made up of grey, red, yellow and even blue clay and both the landscape and the climate are defined by Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail. Grape selection is made daily during the vendange, which lasts about a month as a result. The perfectly ripe bunches are hand-harvested and stored before being fermented and matured in small grape-neutral concrete and enamel vats before bottling.
Philippe maintains the domain's website, facebook page and even a Twitter feed, so you can keep up-to-date with daily events at the winery. This can become something of an obsession.