Jean-Marc Espinasse and his American wife Kristin live near Cairanne, in the Southern Rhone Valley, on their farm of about 7.5 Ha of vineyards. The farmhouse and buildings were probably built 400 years ago. The old age of the vines, plus their situation in truly fantastic terroir of this special part of the Southern Rhone give their wines great character.
Jean-Marc Espinasse is a biodynamic producer, giving the vines their best chance to benefit from the life of the soil. No chemical pesticides or herbicides are used. They believe the more deeply rooted and naturally healthy the vines, the better able to withstand potential problems and maladies. The Domaine has several owners, including one (now two! as of June 2012) couple from our home state of Minnesota.
The round stones of the Southern Rhone are called Galets. Rouge-Bleu’s Vin de Pays terroir is every bit as fine as that of the Cotes du Rhone AOC; Jean-Marc would without hesitation purchase any and all vineyards of the same quality and calibre, whatever their “official” standing with the AOC.
Grenache reigns supreme of course, and also planted are Carignan, a bit of Syrah, a “zeste” of Mourvedre, and finally a soupçon of 50 year old Roussanne...giving the red Mistral a bit of freshness, and producing so little Vin Blanc that we are not allowed to purchase it!