A stony vineyard in the Rhone

Producer Profile: Château de la Gardine

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a region steeped in history. Its fame dates back to the 14th century, when the Pope fled to the region from Rome and found a home there between the years 1309 and 1378. During his stay, he built a palace, which was named ‘the pope’s new castle’ or, as we know it, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Only one tower of the original palace still stands, but the region remains renowned around the world due to the immense quality of its wines.  

One of the region’s most deeply rooted estates is Château de la Gardine, whose winemaking traditions date back to the 18th century. The current owners, the Brunel family, took ownership of the winery and its 10 hectares of vines in 1945. At the time of their purchase the winery was in disrepair due to the battering it received throughout WWII, like the majority of France. After extensive renovations and plenty of investment in vines and land, Château de la Gardine now stands at 52 hectares strong, with a beautiful winery run by the second generation, Patrick and Maxime Brunel.  

One of the most notable and recognizable aspects of Château De La Gardine is their unique bottles. The design of these bottles was a happy accident. Once the winery was purchased, Gaston Brunel was looking to expand his wine cellar, and through excavation he discovered these asymmetrical, mouth blown, glass bottles and instantly fell in love with them. Determined to have these as his aesthetic, he searched for someone to produce this bottle design and eventually landed on a glass producer in Italy who was able to make them for him. All of their wines are now bottled in this traditional shape, making them stand out and really look the part as the perfect addition to a dinner table. The unique shaped glass is also embossed with the iconic Châteauneuf-du-Pape emblem of a papal tiara placed above the keys of Saint Peter.  

Of course, such intricate bottles need a delicious wine to fill them – and the wines of Chateau de la Gardine are more than fitting. Brothers Patrick and Maxime head up the winery and describe their approach as ‘being honest, patient, adaptable and loyal’. Winemakers in Chateauneuf-du-Pape are permitted to use up to 13 different grape varieties in their wines, but Château de la Gardine only focus on four when it comes to their reds, which are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Muscardin. As well as producing the well-known reds of the region, they also have a selection of whites, which are perfect for the vino-curious. The whole range of Château de la Gardine never disappoints and this producer is a firm favourite with the OWC team.  

Chateauneuf Du Pape Rouge Chateau De La Gardine

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, Château de la Gardine – £40.00

Delicious plum, blackberry and cherry notes complement exotic spice, roasted coffee and cocoa.

Chateauneuf Du Pape Gaston Philippe Chateau De La Gardine

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gaston-Philippe, Château de la Gardine – £79.00

Top class Châteauneuf-du-Pape in its prime drinking window, with lots of developed fruit notes.

Chateauneuf du Pape Immortelle Chateau de la Gardine

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Immortelle, Château de la Gardine – £115.00

Expect notes of cherry and blackberry intermixed with hints of fudge, charcoal and acacia flowers.

Chateau de la Gardine Cotes du Rhone

Château de la Gardine, Côtes du Rhône Villages – £19.50

More like a baby Châteauneuf-du-Pape than a classic Côtes du Rhône, with intense and powerful fruit and spice. A perfect introduction to them.

Chateauneuf Du Pape Blanc Chateau De La Gardine

Château de la Gardine Châteauneuf- du-Pape Blanc – £39.50

Fantastically complex, the wine is lively and fine with notes of citrus, thyme and verbena.