Duché d’Uzès Blanc
Duché d’Uzès is a small AOP (308 hectares) that was created in June 2012.
50% Viognier, 30% Grenache, Marsanne and Roussanne for the remaining. The parcels are located on clay-limestone ridges with good drainage. Strict pruning ensures beautiful healthy bunches and good ripeness. The cool climate allows all three varieties to reach maturity while keeping good acidity, crucial for primary aromas and overall balance. Harvest, done at night to preserve freshness, takes place in early September. A large pneumatic press is used to gently extract the juice and fermentation takes place in concrete tanks at low temperature. No malolactic, but contact with the lees until bottling early spring.
Fresh and fruity aromas. Mint, peach, citrus zest when drunk young, showing the Viognier character. By the end of the year, the Roussanne is bringing almond and honey notes. Rich mouthfeel with good acidity and balance, long length with a liquorice finish. 1250 cases produced.
About the Producer
The vineyard of the Duché d’Uzès (the dukes were included in the peerage of France from 1572) is located to the northwest of Nîmes, and stretches west of the Pont du Gard, all the way to the foothills of the Cévennes. Originally from Alsace, Philippe Nusswitz was recognized "Meilleur Sommelier de France" in 1986. In 2002, after several years of learning vinification and aging techniques, he decided to settle with his wife Pascale and their children in the Cévennes, between the Rhône and the Languedoc. The peculiarity of this region lies in a rare climatology in southern vineyards: a large amplitude between hot days and cool nights. These are optimum conditions for the production of wines made from Syrah and Viognier. Philippe recognized the potential of the wines from this area, close to the mountains. He started to work with local producers who had vineyards that were beautiful but not exploited to their best. He focused on selecting the best parcels and created Orenia in 2003. He currently works with fifty growers, paid by the hectare and who follow his specifications. His total production is around 80,000 bottles. The wines are vinified at the local coop, fermented with indigenous yeasts and bottled unfiltered. Philippe only adds sulfites if needed, usually at bottling. Orénia is named after his three children: victOR, juliEN and erminIA. The wines are vegan.
Farming practices: Some producers practice organic farming and are certified, but not all of them. The others practice sustainable farming.