In the beginning was a pope
We like to think that it was wine that attracted the papacy to Avignon in the 14th century. The suite of Jean XXII indeed included the winegrowers at the origin of the restoration of the vineyards and their viticultural practices. They shaped the character of their wines and thus opened their borders to Europe. These wines were so delicious that when the pope returned to Rome, the cardinals showed some reluctance "How to live happily without the nectar of the gods?"...
The Sénéchaux Woods
The Domaine des Sénéchaux is one of the oldest vineyards in its illustrious appellation. The existence of vines is indeed attested there from the 14th century.
The estate takes its name from "Bois Sénéchaux", one of its main plots.
In the 1950s, under the direction of the Raynaud family, the vineyard already covered its current area. In 1993, the estate passed into the hands of Pascal Roux who undertook a complete restructuring of the vines and a renovation of the cellars.
Under the direction of Bernard Tranchecoste for two decades, the estate has undergone a profound restructuring. Thus the implementation of virtuous techniques such as short pruning, tillage, organic fertilization, leaf stripping or manual harvesting have enabled the extensive renovation of the vineyard.
The Cazes family, owner of several wine estates, including the Lynch-Bages and Haut-Batailley castles in Pauillac, acquired the Domaine des Sénéchaux in 2006. From then on, they endeavored to continue improving the vineyard by providing special care for plant material while respecting the environment. In 2018, the partnership concluded with the Pradon family, which became co-owners, brought new impetus to the property .
You will find them in the south of the Rhône valley, on the famous plateau of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Their largest and most homogeneous plots extend over five very distinct growing areas. They form the soil of their main red grape varieties: Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
On the slopes facing south and south-west, these three grape varieties represent 22.4 of their 27 hectares of vines. In addition, they are fortunate to enjoy a terroir conducive to the cultivation of white grape varieties. They occupy 3 hectares on the highest point of the vineyard and produce wines of remarkable freshness.
Summers are long and hot. The mistral with its prodigious force, chases away mist and humidity and promotes summer drought while limiting vine diseases. Its breath is a real asset for the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard on the eve of the harvest, it also increases the sugar concentration of the grapes and dries them after the rain.
Thanks to these climatic characteristics, their red grape varieties are rich, structured and spicy. As for the white grape varieties, mostly located on the highest point of the estate, they draw their delicious freshness from a northern exposure.
The soils of Châteauneuf-du-Pape result from the combination of the Alpine diluvium and the retreat of the Rhône over a period of several million years encompassing four ice ages. This exceptional terroir , poor by nature, because it is rich in gravel and rolled pebbles, is conducive to retaining heat and ripening the grapes early. The soils of their plots are characterized by their variety. The common denominator for all of their plots, however, remains the presence of a clay base promoting a certain water retention and resistance to water stress. While their white grape varieties thrive on superficial sandy-clay soils, the reds grow on quartzite pebbles resting on three types of subsoil: stony clay-limestone, deep sandy and mollassic and safre sandstone.