Château de Beaucastel, a remarkable domains, is producing what most people acknowledge to be the finest wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. They are well-known as one of only a few estates that grow and vinify all thirteen of the permitted grape varieties.The special Vielles Vignes cuvée of Beaucastel’s white Châteauneuf du Pape is a varietalRoussanne wine, which is rare in Rhône and rarer in Châteauneuf du Pape.The winery takes its name from the Beaucastel family which lived in Courthézon in the middle of the 16th century. Records show a Pierre de Beaucastel buying a barn and some associated land at Coudoulet in 1549, and this land is still part of Château de Beaucastel’s holdings. However, at this time it was an agricultural property. In 1792, the owner was called Etienne Gontard, and the first certain mentioning of vines on the property are from his inheritance 40 years later.
In the 19th century, when the Phylloxera epidemic struck the region, the owner of the domaine was Élie Dussaud, who decided not to replant the vineyards but rather to sell the property. In 1903, a young chemical engineer and mathematics professor named Pierre Perrin, together with his father-in-law, began to restore the domaine following the ravages of phylloxera. His son, Jacques Perrin, took over the domaine in 1953 and introduced many innovations such as improved grape varietals, integrated pest control, and a flash-heat exchanger. Today, the third and fourth generations of Perrins, François and Jean-Pierre and Jean-Pierre’s sons Pierre, Marc and Thomas, continue in the tradition of their father and grandfather.
The vineyards of Beaucastel are treated as a garden: no chemical fertilizer, no chemical week killers or sprays are permitted. Organic fertilizer comes from compost and only a minimum of traditional sulphur-copper spray is used in the vineyards. The vineyard is planted in all the traditional grapes of Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Terret Noir, Muscardin, Clairette, Picpoul, Picardin, Bourboulenc, and Roussanne.