Aureto means “gentle breeze” and it is this “Aureto” breeze that refreshes the hot hills and valleys in Provence during the summer. Aureto also is a range of wines produced on the land surrounding the Coquillade hotel resort not far from the legendary castle of Marquis de Sade. The Coquillade’s Swiss owners have done a lot to respect and recover the natural environment of the property when creating the five-star sustainable resort housing the winery producing the Aureto wines. Although the winery started making wines just recently, it has gone a long way since then in achieving what the owners once aimed for – focusing on the quality of the wines at Aureto.

The Coquillade vineyards and hotel

Location

Broadly conceived, the domaine is still part of the Rhône Valley, but touches into Provance. Located just between two regions – Luberon and Ventoux, the vineyards fall partially under the AOP Ventoux and the Luberon AOP. Aureto spans across 30 hectares of land planted with vines.

High-tech winery

During the winemaking an innovative technology called Ganimede ® Tecinox is being deployed and used together with micro-oxygenation process. The Ganimede ® Tecinox is a computer-lead management of tanks ensuring that a specific amount of oxygen is continually supplied into the tanks and the temperature is under control preventing a secondary fermentation of the wine (otherwise, literally, they might end up with a Provençal version of a bubbly champagne).

Our guide through the vineyards

Vineyards

The vineyards as well as the hotel (former village settlement) are integrated well into the landscape. There are slightly different soils across the 30 hectares, thus most of the grape varietals are gown separately to benefit the most from each soil type. Overall though the vineyards are located on a clay-limestone soil.

From the Rhone white grapes Roussannne, Marsanne and Clairette to the Spanish Grenache and Languedoc’s Carignan in the reds, one finds a little bit of everything from most of the Southern Mediterranean regions. Syrah takes also a wide proportion of the plantings and you will find lesser known grapes like Caladoc (cross of Grenache 1958 and Black Cot) and Marselan (cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache) allowed in the AOP Ventoux. There are some wines that fulfill the guidelines of IGP Vaucluse.

Ripening bunch of grapes

The wines

An interesting point to mention is that the winemaker is a woman and it seems that the staff working at the winery is proud of it. She currently produces three ranges of wines: Cuvèes Speciales (all apellations); Tramontane (IGP Vaucluse) and Autan (AOP Ventoux).

From all the wines I have tasted from each range I liked the most the TRAMONTANE ROUGE 2010.

The grapes for this wine come from the vineyards older than thirty years, facing south on a mix of clay and limestone soil. It is a red blend of 35% Caladoc, 25% Marselan, 25% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The nose is complex with aromas of ripe red fruit, cassis, notes of violets, and a hint of vanilla and spices. The palate is dense, spicy with mellowing hints of dark chocolate, cassis and its youthful mouth-squeezing tannins call either for some meet or a couple of years of aging in a bottle. It is quite high in alcohol, nevertheless you do not taste the 15% on the palate since it is concentrated enough to balance it.

Aureto Syrah blend

Tour: Every Wednesday at 10:00 am there is a free of charge guided tour of the Vitner’s Path as well as of the winery. It takes up to two hours.

Tasting: Every Friday from 10:00am to 12:00 noon there are Wine Tasting Workshops. The hotel guests can taste daily at 6pm after reservation.

Contact: Tel.: +33 (0) 4 90 74 71 71

Address: La COQUILLADE – RELAIS ET CHATEAUX 84400 GARGAS – FRANCE