Vieux Donjon

The owners and their history:
The Domaine Le Vieux Donjon was founded by Marcel Michel. He started by selling his whole harvest to traders, but in 1966, bottling at the winery was introduced. The domaine’s name was inspired by the view of the palace from the family’s house on the southern side of the village (donjon = keep). Marie-José and Lucien Michel have been managing the domaine since 1979. Their daughter Claire studied at the “École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique” in Montpellier and Toulouse, graduating with a diploma in engineering and enology. Afterwards, she had practical training at “Harlan Estate” in California and in the marketing department of Boisset in Burgundy. She started working for her parents towards the end of 2007, and according to plan, she will be taking over the domaine in the near future. Philippe Cambie has been active at the Domaine Le Vieux Donjon since 2002 as an enological consultant.

Details on geography and varieties of wine:    
The domaine owns 14 hectares of vineyards for red and 1 hectare for white wine. One plot situated in the lieu-dit of Le Piedlong and measuring nearly five hectares is planted with 90 – 100 year-old Grenache grapevines. Very old Grenache vines are also growing on another parcel in the lieu-dit of Le Mourre de Gaud. One hectare in Cabrières was planted with Roussanne, Grenache blanc, and Clairette in 1988. Biological methods of winegrowing are employed on all of the domaine’s vineyards.
Three quarters of the only red wine produced by the domaine consists of Grenache, 10% of Syrah, 10% of Mourvèdre, and 5% of Cinsault. No special cuvées are made. In accordance with her father’s philosophy, Claire Michel explains, “We are extremely focussed on just one white and one red cuvée.” Most of the grapes have been destemmed since 1991, depending on the vintage. In 2005, for instance, 50% of the grapes were destemmed. Winemaking is performed in a very traditional way, and all of the varieties of grapes are fermented together, except for the Mourvèdre. Domestic yeast is used for fermentation, and the procedure takes place in concrete vats for around 25 days. After fermentation, the wine spends some 18 months in foudres.
The white Vieux Donjon wine is a mixture of 50% Clairette and 50% Roussanne. It is fermented by means of domestic yeast at low temperatures in corrosion-resistant steel vats; malolactic fermentation is prevented. No oak is used. Before bottling during the spring of the year following the harvest, the wine is slightly filtered. The average annual output amounts to 5,000 bottles; the first Vieux Donjon white wine was produced in 1993.

Facts & Figures

Name des Gutes: Vieux Donjon
Status: Weinproduzent
Besitzer: Familie Michel
Kellermeister: Lucien & Claire Michel
Gründungsjahr: 1962
Erste Flaschenabfüllung: 1966
Adresse: 9 Avenue Saint Joseph, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Telefon: +33 (0)4 90 83 70 03
Fax: +33 (0)4 90 83 50 38
Website: -
Weinverkauf: Nein
Kellerführungen: Nach Vereinbarung
Jährliche Produktion:
50'000 Flaschen Standard-Rotwein
5'000 Flaschen Standard-Weisswein
Total: 55'000 Flaschen
Traubensorten und Alter der Reben:
75% Grenache
10% Syrah
10% Mourvèdre
5% Cinsault & andere
60 - 100+ Jahre
50% Clairette
50% Roussanne
20 Jahre
Le Pied de Baud, Cabrières Süd, Le Pied Long, Le Mourre de Gaud, Grand Chemin de Sorgues, Le Bois de Boursan, Les Marines
14 Hektaren für Rotwein
1 Hektare für Weisswein
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Vieux Donjon