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Domaine de Cristia was established in 1942 with 2 hectares of vines; all grapes were sold to négociants until the children of the current winemaker took over and bottled the first Domaine de Cristia wine in 1999. Brother and sister Baptiste and Dominique Grangeon are now running the winery.
Today, they have 13 hectares of vines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape spread over four different lieu-dits near Rayas with varying soil-types with sand, clay and calcaire and galets. Ninety percent of the vines are in the lieu-dits Cristia. These parcels of Châteauneuf-du-Pape benefit from a cool, fresh north-easterly exposition which allows the grapes and wines to develop supple, elegant tannins.Their Syrah and Mourvèdre vines average 50 years-old and they have some Grenache that is over 100 years-old.
The work in the vineyards is as natural as possible in accordance with the criteria of organic agriculture and the domaine received official certification from the 2008 vintage. No chemical fertlizers, herbicides or pesticides are used to treat the soils or the vines. Ploughing and weeding are practiced according to the blocks and the yields we desire. Vines are treated with copper sulphate and sulphur occasionally blended with a nettle infusion/tea (4 to 5 times a year). Only organic fertlizer is used – i.e. sheep manure.
The grapes are selected in the vineyard, then destemmed before being put into vats. Three weeks of fermentation and maceration in concrete vats follow, with the use of indigenous yeasts. Temperatures are kept low in order to produce aromatic wines. We do not insist on any massive extraction, but prefer the ‘matiere’ to express itself. (Due to the way we work in the vineyards, the grapes possess enough concentration). The pressed juice and free-run juice are blended together according to the vintage. Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines are aged in concrete vats and barrels for 18 months. Côtes-du-Rhône and Vin de Pays are aged only in concrete vats for 8 to 12 months.
The Domaine de Cristia wines are always have a notable finesse and elegance.