LePlan-Vermeersch, Southern Rhône


Dirk Vermeersch

A Car Racer in Search for the Greatest Wines

Dirk Vermeersch is not your ordinary winemaker. He was born in Belgium in 1952 and was a former professional race car champion. But after several setback and accidents, Dirk entered the automobile business before deciding to become a vigneron. In 2000 he purchased a 200-year-old big mansion near Tulette with a small plot of old Carignan. Since 2005, his daughter Ann and her husband have been responsible for the winemaking. In 2006 Dirk bought a parcel of 0.16 hectares in Châteauneuf du Pape and from here 1,200 bottles of Châteauneuf du Pape are made.

Dirk never does anything halfway. When he decided to become a winemaker, he studied and researched various methods of vinification and viticultural techniques. His respect for nature brought the estate to grow vines using organic methods, with some vineyards certified by ECOCERT. The GT wines are produced from single grape varieties, using both traditional and local grapes such as Viognier, Carignan, Alicante, Grenache and Syrah. While the LePlan classic wines are produced from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Sauvignon Blanc. His life and wines does reflect his philosophy that “A racing car driver needs passion, precision, balance, patience, a methodical approach, takes calculated risks, make quick decisions, and has team spirit… so does a winemaker.”