Rasteau is an appellation that is close to Martine’s Wines President Greg Castells’ heart. This ancient winemaking region, long known for its Vins Doux Naturels, has recently begun to be acclaimed for its dry red wines as well, gaining full Cru status in 2010. Castells’ appreciation for these wines goes back to 1996, when, as a sommelier student, he worked his first harvest at a small family estate in the appellation. He honed in on as what he considered the best producer in Rasteau, even pouring their wines by the glass when he later worked in London at Gordon Ramsay and Petrus. Now, we are happy to welcome Domaine du Trapadis into the Martine’s Wines family.
The story of this estate begins with current winemaker Helen Durand’s two great-grandfathers, Césaire Brun and Théophile Charavin, each of whom owned a piece of land that would later become Domaine du Trapadis. The next generation, Césaire’s and Théophile’s children married, bringing together the estate, and, in 1950, the cellar was built in its current location. Helen’s parents eventually took over and continued the family business until 1996, when Helen took over, assuming complete control of the operations.
Rasteau is often associated with richer, denser red wines. Still, Helen has slowly evolved in a different direction, with lower intervention and gentler extraction resulting in a more refined, chiseled, and elegant character. Complex but light, these are Grenache-based wines that defy expectations.
Trapadis means “hole” in Provençal and refers to an underground natural spring in a vineyard near the cellar that provides water for the surrounding area. Covering 34 hectares that are fully organic (Ecocert certified) and practicing biodynamic, the estate’s holdings are cultivated without herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or synthetic products. Small amounts of copper and sulfur are utilized in addition to fertilizers derived from compost. All grapes are hand-picked and sorted at harvest, then vinified according to their location and the vintage.
At Martine’s Wines, we champion producers that prioritize sustainability and reasoned viticulture while also crafting wines that speak of their terroir and express the true characteristics of where they’re from. Helen Durand at Domaine du Trapadis does all these things with elegance and balance. We are thrilled to represent these wines that provide a glimpse into this part of the Rhône Valley.