- Domaine Mayard is a new estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape that also has generations of history.
- Arthur and Hugo Mayard have established their own estate following the separation of the family’s vineyards.
- Regenerative agriculture is the focus, with potential longevity of the vines bolstered by organic farming methods and biodiversity.
- The estate comprises about a dozen hectares in several communes in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes-du-Rhône.
- With six generations of knowledge to rely on, Arthur and Hugo are creating outstanding wines that will contribute to the next chapter of this storied family.
Positioned in the heart of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Mayard is a new estate that is quickly making a name for itself to those in the know about the Southern Rhône. Winemakers Arthur and Hugo are the sixth generation of Mayard winemakers, now in charge of this estate following the separation of the Mayard family’s vineyards into several properties. Their inaugural vintage is the 2021.
The emphasis is on organic and restorative agriculture that puts soil and plants at the center of their practices. Planting of cover crops and minimal interventions prioritize soil health and balance, improving the vine’s energy reserves and its sap flow. Careful pruning throughout the season helps to optimize photosynthesis and vigor, and agroforestry practices create biodiversity. The goal is to create conditions where vines can live healthily and productively for 100 years or more. With awareness about the impacts of climate change always at the forefront, this allows Arthur and Hugo to produce a Châteauneuf-du-Pape with less alcohol, less extraction, that is light on its feet, and has more finesse, with beautifully clean and vibrant aromatics. Stylistically, these wines are a throwback to the great wines of the 1950s and ‘60s (without the faults that often plagued those wines).
The estate lies over a dozen hectares including ten hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in Le Grand Coulet, Les Serres, La Crau Est, and Le Pointu in the communes of Sorgues, Châteauneuf du-Pape and Courthézon. This is accompanied by two hectares of Côtes-du-Rhône nearby. The objective of vinification is to highlight their old vine Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Syrah vines, and most of the Grenache vines are 80-120 years old.
As of 2022, Arthur and Hugo have designed and built a new cellar in the center of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Vats of concrete, wood, and stainless steel are all used according to the plot and vintage. Fermentations are carried out with partially-destemmed grapes, native yeasts, and without sulfur. Maceration lasts around 40 days and aging is wooden vats for the first year, then in concrete vats before bottling after 18 months.
The wine that Domaine Mayard is producing is outstanding, with ripeness and complexity in perfect balance. This young estate has had marked success even this early in its history – a testament to the excellence that Arthur and Hugo bring to this next chapter of a storied Châteauneuf family.