Beaucastel's terroir is marked by the Rhone violence. It is made with a layer of marine molasses (sandstone) of the Miocene period, covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones, know as « galets », bear evidence of the time when the Rhone, a torrent at this time, tore fragments of rocks from the Alps and deposited them along its course.
The meso-climate plays an important rôle with a low rainfall, beautiful sunshine and spectacular temperature differences.
Here, the « galets » make an essential contribution in the quality of the vintage: they retain the heat of the day and radiate it to the vines during the night. The Mistral wind
that goes into the very old vines, with gnarled feet, dries and clean the
vines planted in the traditional style called "gobelet".
Château de Beaucastel covers 130 hectares but only 100 hectares are planted with
¾ in Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Châteauneuf-du-Pape (CHATEAU DE BEAUCASTEL) and
¼ in Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Côtes-du-Rhône (COUDOULET DE BEAUCASTEL).
The remaining 30 hectares are farmed with rotated crops to prepare new vineyard plantings: every year, one or two hectares are grubbed up and the
equivalent area is replanted on land unplanted during at least 10 years.
The 100 hectares situated around the Château, the historic land of Beaucastel, have
the memory of the 13 grapes varieties of Châteauneuf-du-Pape appelation:
MOURVEDRE, GRENACHE, SYRAH, CINSAULT, VACCARESE, COUNOISE, TERRET NOIR,
MUSCARDIN, CLAIRETTE, PICPOUL, PICARDAN, BOURBOULENC and ROUSSANNE.
In 1321, under the reign of Pope Jean XXII, four barrels were brought from the papal cellar to be filled with wine in Châteauneuf. Then, the Popes planted new vines and the legend of the papal wine began.
We can find the first evidence of Château de Beaucastel as it exists today in the sixteenth century. In 1549, Pierre de Beaucastel bought a « barn with its plot of land extending to 52 saumées at Coudoulet ». The manor house will be built then with the arms of Beaucastel sculpted in the stone of a wall of the drawing room.
In 1687, Pierre de Beaucastel was appointed « Capitaine de la ville de Courtezon » by Louis XIV, in recognition of his conversion to Catholicism. Louis XIV's letter, also signed by Colbert, is still visible at the Château.
In 1909, Pierre Tramier leads the wine estate and then transmits it to his son-in-law Pierre Perrin, a scientist that developped Beaucastel. Jacques Perrin continued the efforts of his father until 1978 and gave its noble letters to this wine.
Today, the estate is under the hands of Jean-Pierre and François, Jacques Perrin's sons that continue the beautiful story of Château de Beaucastel. Marc, Pierre, Thomas, Cécile, Charles, Matthieu and César, the 5th generation, work today all together with them. Beaucastel is first of all a family story, the story of Famille Perrin. Their main strength is to be able to mix the talents of each member of the family to run the wine estate under common values: absolute respect for land and terroir, biodynamic as a philosophy of life, the research of truth, balance and elegance.
Pioneer in its innovative approach of organic farming in 1950 and then
biodynamics in 1974, Famille Perrin have the deep conviction that grapes must have taste to make an expressive wine that reveals the quintessence of its aromas
and the grandeur of its origins.
At Château de Beaucastel, we place the vine in its universe, that is to say, the land, the animals, the stars by which it is impacted. Bees, birds, cicadas and lady-birds live there peacefully in this unique vineyard. Everyday, on each plot, the work helps to stimulate the physiology of the plant and its natural resistance, inside a unique ecosystem,
preserved with passion.
At Beaucastel, the wines are not dominated by the powerful Grenache. It's all
about harnessing Grenache and sublimating it. The blending is privileged with a unique know-how, passed down from generation to generation. Taking the best from each plot, letting each grape variety express their very nature in order to make the best
Oak-aging is not dominant here, the authenticity of grape varieties and terroir take the major role. By continuing the tradition of the blending of the 13 historical varieties of Châteauneuf du Pape, Château de Beaucastel has an unmatched style, every year. This makes a wine with that unique and exceptional mix of power, structure, elegance and freshness.
Respecting the Terroir both means enhancing the soil characterictics, the environment, but also highlighting the history of the place. A search for authenticity, uniqueness in order to transmit it, to make it alive, while revealing all the treasures of the Château de Beaucastel.
Exclusively hand-picked, the grapes are carefully sorted when they arrived at the cellar.
Only the best grapes will be kept and vinified. After total de-stemming, the harvest is vinified in traditional temperature-controlled vats during 15 days, before aging in oak barrels.
In order to reveal their character, aromas and originality, the 13 grape varieties of Château de Beaucastel vineyard are vinified separately:
- Grenache and Cinsault provide warmth, colour and roundness,
- Mourvedre, Syrah, Muscardin and Vaccarese provide structure, aging ability, colour and a
very straight taste,
- Counoise and Picpoul provide body, freshness and very particular aromas.
The art of blending, passed down from generation to generation in Famille Perrin, gives all its character to Beaucastel's wines.
The blending done, the wine is stocked in oak barrels where it will age during a year. Only racking operations will trouble this rest. The wine maturates slowly in the Beaucastel's cellar until the best moment to put it in bottle. Bottles will then be kept at the chateau for another year.