Situated on the Atlantic Coast near the city of Essaouira (previously called Mogador under the Portuguese ruling), a short 3 hour drive south west of Marrakesh, Domaine du Val D’Argan was created in 1994 by Charles Melia. Originally from Morocco where he spent the first twenty years of his life, Charles is mostly known for his other property Château de la Font du Loup, located in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. After looking at sites in Chile and Argentina, he decided to go back to Morocco. He left Font du Loup to his oldest daughter and started Val d’Argan from scratch, planting Rhône varieties in a place where no one had ever planted vines, in a location that received less than 12 inches of rain per year. Charles slowly cleared the land, removed the stones from the soil, digged a well, built a cellar and finally a winery.
Started with 5 hectares, the domaine now covers 50 hectares. Besides representing all 13 Rhône varieties, Charles has also been experimenting with Marselan and with Corsican varieties. Yields are extremely low (around 25hl/ha) and annual production is around 16,000 cases.
Farming practices: Le Val d’Argan is the only domaine in Morocco to be certified organic, and following biodynamic principles. The vineyards are plowed with the help of Goliath the camel.