The Wines of the Northern Rhône
Home to the spicy Syrah, or Shiraz, and the floral Viognier grapes, the northern Rhône Valley is one of France's oldest wine-growing regions; its appellations include Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Crozes-Hermitage, St-Joseph, and Château-Grillet.
Domaine du Pégau The name Pegau (old Provencal word for a wine jug found in the excavations of the 14th century Popes Palace in Avignon) was created in 1987, when Laurence Feraud after her wine studies went home to help her father Paul Feraud at the domaine. Paul always talk about Laurence as "le chef", but he is an experienced winemaker himself. The property has belonged to the family for several generations. From 1986 Paul Feraud started bottling of wine and sold it under the mark Domaine Feraud.
Today father and daughter have made Pegau to one of the best wines in Chateauneuf du Pape. They have 17 ha. with red varieties and 1 ha. with white grapes. The 11 parcels are spread around the appellation and gives different wines, which after the blending result in a very distinct wine, a true classic Chateuneuf du Pape. In the fields organic methods are used. In 1987 a new chapter opened, when Laurence, the daughter of Paul and his wife Odette, having finished her wine studies came back to work with her father. The Domaine de Pegau was created to associate the experience and talents of father and daughter. Complementing each other they have conserved the authenticity and quality of their Chateauneuf-du-Pape whilst bringing it to the attention of wine lovers all over the world.
Domaine du Pégau
Great wine starts with vineyards and vineyards start with people. Paul & Laurence Féraud clearly display dedication far beyond that of most winegrowers and are also clearly more talented than most, but otherwise they are regular folks by any definition. The particularity of the wines of the Domaine de Pegau depends on the diversity of the 11 different vineyards within the appellation of Chateauneuf-du-Pape that make up the Domaine.
The total surface area is 17 hectares (42 acres) of red A.O.C. Chateauneuf-du-Pape and 1 hectare (2.47 acres) of white A.O.C. Chateaunuef-du-Pape and 3 hectares (7.5 acres) of Vin de Table. Fermentation takes place in 100 year old concrete fermenters. The wine is then transferred to large old oak foudres that hold over 1000 gallons – about 500 cases of wine. The wine ages in these foudres for 22 months and then is bottled directly, without fining or filtering.
The cellar technique described above is responsible for Pegau’s basic wine, ‘Cuvée Reservée’. The confusing name stems from the bad old days when 90% of the production was sold in bulk and the small quantity left was ‘reserved’ for bottling by the family. Production today is 5500 cases – a lot for a “cult” wine but not much to share among all of the world’s wine lovers.
Cuvée Reservée at Domaine du Pégau
The red Cuvée Réservée is a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre, Counoise and other varieties. The grapes are fermented without being de-stemmed. The wine is aged for around 18 months in old oak foudres. No filtration is carried out. The Cuvée Laurence is the same wine as the Cuvée Réservée but is kept in wooden cask for another 18-24 months before being bottled. A tiny amount of another special cuvée Cucée da Capo is made in same way as Cuvée Laurence but from the very best wine from the cellar.