A scent of Liberty wine fills the air at La Barroche!
Today, Domaine La Barroche is represented by a veritable patchwork of family members, in much that way that Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s 13 grape varieties reflect the appellation’s complexity.
Each person has their own individual character, but the same love of the terroir. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the men and women who have built, shaped, developed and inspired the Domaine through the centuries.
The family patriarch, Alexandre, bought the first land comprising the present-day Domaine in the village de Châteauneuf du Pape in 1703. It has been handed down from father to son ever since.
In the late 19th century, the present owners’ great-grandfather, Eugène Gabriel, carefully observed the soil in order to select plots worthy of planting with vines.
At that time, it was normal for people to help their neighbours and, seeing as Eugène Gabriel had two winepresses, he often went to nearby estates to press their grapes from them. Bearing witness to times past, one of these winepresses is exhibited in the Père Anselme Museum, in the heart of the village.
Far too often in the shadow, the women at Domaine La Barroche constantly strive to keep life at the Domaine going smoothly. They are the salt of the earth – the binding agent of the Barrot family and virtuosos at perpetuating an enviable lifestyle from generation to generation.
Even though young people at many neighbouring estates left to work in factories and abandoned their family vineyards in the middle of the wine crisis in the 1970s, Christian Barrot decided to take over the family estate.
Wine, at this time, was just a simple commodity, and even the great growths of Bordeaux were sold on church forecourts on Sunday. Everywhere in France, people were only interested in high yields and low prices thanks to the agricultural revolution.
However, Christian knew the value of his terroir and what it was capable of producing. So he focused on making the most of it. He sold his wine in bulk to prestigious wine merchants in the northern Côtes du Rhône.
Plot by plot, year after year, Christian achieved his vineyard’s full potential.
He bottled a small part of the wine himself, calling it Lou Destré D’Antan (meaning “The Winepress of Days Gone By” in Provençal) in honour of his grandfather.
Julien and Laetitia, brother and sister, are totally committed to their terroir, and exemplify the family values handed down to them. They arrived at the family estate in the early 2000s, and their future looks very bright.
Laetitia, the elder sibling, contributes her feminine sensitivity to a world that is traditionally masculine. She is unquestionably one of the Domaine’s driving forces and totally indispensable for its development. With a background in communication and international commerce, she considers the world small, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape its centre.
After working for large international groups for over a decade, Laetitia felt the need to get back to her roots and to promote her family’s terroir and its wine.
Julien, the younger brother, has the resolute character typical of winegrowers devoted to their vocation and appellation. He came to work at the estate in 2002, barely 22 years of age, just after finishing his studies of oenology and with a business degree. Motivated by a burning desire to learn, he belongs to the new, totally committed generation of winemakers who are very open-minded, although greatly respectful of the terroir and the traditions passed on from previous generations.
He has been responsible for making several vintages and pinpointing the specific qualities of every plot, leading to the creation of various cuvées with their own individual character: Julien Barrot, Pure, Fiancée and Liberty.