Domaine La Florane

The Fabre de Rouville family have been wine makers for many generations. In 1982, Francois Fabre acquired Domaine la Forane. There are currently 35 hectares under vine and 14 hectares of woodland, situated on the south facing slopes of Visan, known as Coste Chaude, warm hillside. This is a breath-taking location and the domaine is surrounded by broom, truffle oaks and olive groves. (The Fabre’s also own a second estate, Domaine L’Echevin, in St. Maurice).

For the first 20 years, the wines were vinified at the local co-operative, however, when Francois’ son Adrien began working at the domaine, fresh from his studies in Montpellier and California, he brought with him a passion and determination to fulfil their dream and produce wines which would truly reflect their vines and terroir. Hence they have subsequently vinified, matured and domaine bottled their wines.

Situated at the highest point of Visan, the higher vineyards are predominantly gravely limestone with more clay/limestone on the lower slopes. Great care has been taken to plant each grape variety on the most suitable terroir. The old Grenache vines are planted on the highest vineyard, at an altitude of 280-295 metres where the terroir is covered with round stones and is exposed to the benefits of the Mistral.

On the mid slopes is a single parcel of Mouvedre. This vineyard is surrounded by oak trees which offer protection from the sun during the heat of the day. On the lower slopes, at 195 to 230 metres, the syrah is planted on clay/limestone soils. The Cinsault and small proportion of Carignan, both thrive on the east and west facing sections of the mid slope, where they enjoy full sun from dawn to dusk. Finally, the two white varieites, Viognier and Marsanne are both planted on thin sections of vineyard on the higher slopes, surrounded by broom and olive trees.
The vineyards are managed traditionally with respect and consideration to the living environment. There is an extraordinary sense here, as we toured the vineyards of both domaines with Adrien, of immense pride and know-how. The high altitude combined with the age of the vines enables the vines to take on a slow, even maturation during the growing season. The average harvest date being one month later than Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

The winery was purpose built in 2001 and is full of all the latest mod cons and efficiency saving gadgets. This ‘technology’ enables total control and precision of every aspect of the winemaking process. Further, gravity is the only tool used here to move the wine around.

Adrien is a young and dynamic vigneron, who obviously knows and fully understand what is needed to be done to create great wines. These are wines which are full of character, with a lovely purity of fruit combined with a good sense of terroir, possessing power, concentration and complexity, but also immense finesse.
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