Château d'Aquéria, Southern Rhone


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Bruno et Vincent de Bez


Tavel is situated in the southern end of the Côtes-du-Rhône across the river from and roughly five miles west of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Romans first introduced the vine to this very old viticultural area. The Tavel appellation covers 2,000 acres. Tavel's soils are characterized by hillocks of sand over a chalky clay subsoil, very well-drained, arid and without limestone content. The long growing season and intense, sunny summers yield fruit of extraordinary ripeness, concentration and richness in sugar. The Tavel appellation designates rosé wines only, which are produced from a blend of red and white grape varieties in varying proportions. In 1595, the monks of the Abbey of Villeneuve-les-Avignon transferred a large portion of their landholding northeast of Avignon, on the right bank of the Rhône River, to a citizen and aristocrat of Avignon, Louis Joseph d'Aquéria. Aquéria planted vines there and built a residence at the beginning of the 1600s, and the area became known by his name. Jean Olivier purchased Château d'Aquéria in 1920 and began to reassemble the original vineyard parcels surrounding the château. Château d'Aquéria is now owned by the son of Jean Olivier, Paul de Bez, and his sons Vincent and Bruno, who over the end of the 1980s renovated the vinification facilities and cellars with the addition of stainless steel fermentation tanks and exact temperature control over wines in storage. Château d'Aquéria is a quintessential Tavel widely appreciated in the French market as the finest wine of its appellation. Château d'Aqueria is on the rise and is becoming one of the region's stars. All grapes are destemmed and softly crushed, then placed in vats for maceration. Fermentation is between 8-12 days