T h e V i n e y a r d
Domaine HABRARD is located in Gervans, a charming little village in the heart of the Crozes-Hermitage appellation area, in the Northern Côtes du Rhône region. The HABRARD family has now cultivated the vine with energy and passion for 5 generations. Over time and generations, the winery has seen some significant modifications.
Originally located in Saint-Jean-de-Muzols (on the other side of the Rhône River, in the Ardèche), the winery was then transferred to Louis and Madeleine HABRARD’s property in Gervans. It is at Louis’ and Madeleine’s, that Marie-Thérèse CROZE (a name befitting her destiny) decided to do the wine harvest in 1965. And so it was, between the vines, that she met Marcel, one of the family’s 5 sons. They married in 1968 and settled down a few metres away in an old large rented house.
Domaine HABRARD manages a vineyard with a surface area of around 15 hectares, spread over 3 appellation areas. Although the winery is located in Gervans, at the heart of Crozes-Hermitage, Domain HABRARD grows vines over three different appellation areas:
The Crozes-Hermitage appellation, the major part of the area worked.
The Hermitage appellation, Domaine HABRARD’s jewel in the crown. The Saint-Joseph appellation, the family’s new born baby because of its presence over these 3 high quality wine appellations (“crus”) areas in the Northern Côtes du Rhône, Domaine HABRARD is able produce very varied wines. Not due to the grapes varieties which are identical in the 3 appellation areas, but due to the characteristics of each “terroir”. A large part of the vineyards is located in areas of sharp slopes where mechanical work is nearly or entirely impossible. Man very often has to replace the tractor to carry out sometimes long and tedious tasks. But this means that jobs are carried out with thought, care and precision. “The wine producer only transforms the grape into wine. Only the vine can be credited for the complexity and richness of our wines” It’s for this reason that Domaine HABRARD has set itself the ambitious objective of converting all of its vineyards to organic farming from 2008. Huge constraints will have to be overcome, especially for working the soil in particularly steep or narrow plots. A real challenge for these very deserving “terroirs”, but ensuring that they can express all their character for many years to come. The conversion in the vineyards is only one part of the challenge however. A complete review of the domain’s working methods is in hand.
Domaine HABRARD manages around 14 hectares of vines in the Crozes-Hermitage appellation area. White grape varieties: MARSANNE predominantly, and ROUSSANNE (around 20% of the total grape mix). Red grape varieties: SYRAH exclusively.
The vine is a creeping plant. Throughout the vegetation period, from May to September, a good number of people are active amongst the vines organising and controlling the luxuriant growth of new branches. The new shoots will be trained either by stakes (one wooden peg acting as prop per vine plant) or by a system of iron or plastic wires.
Vineyard work is carried out either by hand or machine, depending on the type of training, the degree of slope and planting density. The harvests however, are all carried out by hand.
The quality of the wines produced comes essentially from the “terroirs” on which the vines are planted. But the age of the vines is also very important in assuring optimum grape quality.
In 1971, Louis HABRARD, aware of the majesty of the “terroir” on the small hill at Hermitage, made his dream a reality. He bought a beautiful plot from Mr DE BOISSIEU, General DE GAULLE’s son-in-law, that today bears old vines of around a hundred years of age
The plot of an exact surface area of “47 ares and 60 ca” and only planted with the Marsanne white grape variety, is located at a spot called “les ROCOULES”. The plot on the Hermitage hill is ideal “terroir” enabling us to produce grapes of extraordinary quality.
With the southern exposure of their hill, the grapes, each day, see the sun rise over the Alps and go down over the Massif Central.
A unique “terroir” producing wines that are both fine and complex. Wines which remind wine lovers the world over, of the infinite richness of certain French “terroirs”.
The wine producer feels humbled and reverential before the great age of the century old vine stocks, Their existence testifies to that fact that many people have worked these hills. Many people have trod this earth and these slopes. So we should now enjoy the benefit from this great “terroir”, but also respect it so that tomorrow the sun continues to rise over this vine-covered hill. The steep slope and the very high density of planting rule out any mechanical work. Therefore, harvesting, like the other jobs, is carried out by hand.
The size of the plot enables us to produce at best 2,500 bottles a year making each vintage a rather hushed affair. In a way, like the appellation itself. Gobelet pruning, planting density of around 10,000 vines per hectare !!
Planted exclusively with the Syrah red grape variety, this is a new appellation for the Domaine HABRARD as the 60 “ares” surface area plot came into production in 2006.
This plot gives Domaine HABRARD a perfect opportunity to produce wines different from the traditional range. The plot’s relatively small surface area can produce a little less than 2,500 bottles per year. Limited production but one of quality as the vines have found their home on the sharp slopes of a remarkable hill.
The nature of the soil, the slope and its southern exposure mean we can delight in current vintages as well as vintages to come.
Like the vineyards in HERMITAGE and part of the vineyard in CROZES-HERMITAGE, the various vineyard jobs are carried out entirely by hand on the SAINT JOSEPH plot. The vines are exclusively trained on stakes. The pruning is Gobelet style.
Crozes-Hermitage red 2013
Crozes-Hermitage white 2015
100% Marsanne blanche
Hermitage white 2012
100% Marsanne blanche
Saint-Joseph, red 2013
Syrah 100 %