Lucky is the person who shares a meal with famille Giraud. Mireille, the matriarch off the family, is a superb cook, and an efficient manager of the domaine, possessing a thorough knowledge of the complex genealogies of the village. Pierre, the founder of the estate, and husband of Mireille is a natural raconteur with fascinating theories on the proper manner in which to hunt wild boar. Their son, François, the viticulturist is also an avid, extreme-distance runner and Marie, the daughter, is an enormously talented winemaker and voice of reason who keeps everyone on track. Wine and conversation is free flowing and delightful and if you’re truly blessed you will be served one of the best Blanquette de Veau in all of France.
Domaine Giraud is a fairly young estated founded in 1974 by Pierre and Mireille. Pierre comes from a long line of vignerons, and is a sixth-generation winegrower in the village. His mother was a member of the Armenier family, making Pierre a descendant of one of the oldest families in the village as well as a cousin to Sophie and Catherine at Domaine Marcoux. Mireille was born into the Buou family who ran the local distillery in Châteauneuf-du-Pape – a vital part of the social and economic fabric of the community for over a century. Sadly the distillery closed several decades ago but the old building still survives on the outskirts of the village, re-purposed in 1981 to house the cellars of Domaine Giraud.
Beginning with only 4 hectares of leased vineyards, the estate has slowly grown to encompass 30 hectares, mostly in Châteauneuf-du-Pape with a small plot of 60 year old Grenache, and some leased vines of Mourvèdre & Syrah in Lirac. They farm several terroirs, most notably the red clay and gravelly soils of Les Galimardes and Le Crau but they also have vines in Les Terres Blanches (pale limestone) and Pignan (sand). There is a high proportion on old vine Grenache throughout their holdings.
François Giraud farms the vineyards at Domaine Giraud organically with the property receiving certification (ECOCERT) in 2011. Vineyard work is done meticulously and manually, including the harvest which is conducted in two passes ensuring that only the best fruit reaches the chai. Most of the vineyards are quite close to the cellar so the grapes arrive fresh, where the whites are sorted and whole-cluster pressed while the reds are sorted and destemmed. Fermentation for the wines takes place in stainless steel tanks and concrete vats of various sizes. Les Galimardes Blanc is an exception with the Roussanne portion of this cuvée fermented and aged in demi-muid. Apart from the Syrah which is aged in demi-muid, all the reds at Domaine Giraud are aged in concrete tanks. The two entry level Châteauneufs, Prémices and Tradition are blends from several terroirs while Les Gallimardes and Grenaches de Pierre come from old-vines on singular terroirs – red clay and galets for the former and sand for the later. In difficult vintages it is not uncommon for the family to skip one or both of these cuvées to bolster the quality of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition.
Once coming entirely from Grenache planted around 1950 in a sandy part of Lirac, the former Côtes-du-Rhône Les Sables d’Arene would be a standout Lirac if it wasn’t for the fact that mono-varietal wines were not permitted according under current AOC rules. Starting with the 2018 vintage, Les Sables d’Arene is now officially a Lirac since an elderly and heirless neighbor in Lirac was so impressed with François organic farming that he has leased his old vines of Syrah and Mourvèdre to Domaine Giraud. Depending on yields Sables d’Arene is about 2/3 Grenache with the remainder equal parts Syrah and Mourvèdre. It retains its characteristic bright floral and bright cherry aromas with touches of bay laurel and peppery tannins.
- VARIETY;Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah
- AGE OF VINES:65-75
- FARMING: Certified organic (ECOCERT)
- ALTITUDE:85 meters
- FERMENTATION;Hand harvested, destemmed, fermented in concrete tanks
- AGING;Aged 6 months in concrete (2/3) and neutral French oak demi-muids (1/3)
『根據香港法律，不得在業務過程中，向未成年人售賣或供應令人醺醉的酒類。』“ Under the law of Hong Kong, intoxicating liquor must not be sold or supplied to a minor in the course of business.”