Located in the Gard, 10 km south of Lirac, the tiny village of Estezargues (384 habitants) has been dedicated to producing wine for centuries. In 1965, eight winemakers decided to create “La Cave des Vignerons” in order to share their passion for winemaking. They decided to produce wines which are representative of the local land (pudding stone with clay subsoil), using local grape varieties (predominantly Grenache and Syrah) while respecting the environment. For example, les Vignerons d’Estezargues were the pioneers of restrained viticulture (lutte raisonnee).
As it is crucial to them to preserve the original characteristics of the wine, they vinify without sulphites at low temperature and they neither filtrate their wines nor fining them. The resulting wines are full of fruit and sun, thanks to the warm Mediterranean weather and low yield.
I first heard of La Cave des Vignerons d’Estezargues in the late 90’s from a sommelier working in the famous Parisian restaurant and wine shop “Taillevent”. Then, more recently, Arnaud, a friend of mine from wine school and a fellow aficionado of natural wines, put me in contact with them. This cave is the perfect example of what modern natural viticulture should be: making the most of modern techniques available whilst at the same time focusing on an environmentally friendly method of production.