Domaine Valcolombe is a charming property of 8 hectares, including 5.9 hectares of vines, a hundred olive trees, all surrounded by pine forests and cypresses. The land is made up of clay-limestone and silty soil with a very favorable water regime, giving it an exceptional terroir for making excellent wines.
The vines extend at the foot of the village of Villecroze in Provence, under the hills of Tourtour, within the Coteaux Varois en Provence appellation.
The fruit of land and labour
The vines at Valcolombe are cultivated without aggressive chemicals: no weedkiller and only organic fertiliser. The ground is tilled, hoed and aerated all year round. Around 15 May the vines are sprayed or dusted for the first time. The best treatments are sulphur and copper – tradition and effective. The vines are cut by the cordon de Royat system. This is an aristocratic pruning method that gives a limited yield but high quality. The stakes are of wood, the vines closely spaced. The natural hedges and woodland around the vineyards have been preserved; they are home to hundreds of birds, which eat many of the insect and caterpillar pests.
We make just one concession: as the harvest approaches the vines are surrounded by an electric fence to keep out wild boar, which have a weakness for the sweet, ripe berries. The estate is amply equipped with ploughs, hoes, muck spreaders, sprayers, dusters, augur units etc.
But there is one machine we will never use, and that is a mechanical harvester. We harvest by hand, and we’re proud of it. It’s one of the secrets of the excellence of our wines.