The Domaine Saladin is located in Saint Marcel d'Ardèche, a village in the South Côtes du Rhône, halfway between Montélimar and Avignon, on the right bank of the Rhône river. Elisabeth, Marie-Laurence, Louis and Annick Saladin run the Domaine Saladin, a family vineyard passed down from fathers to sons and father to daughters, since 1422. The 18 hectares and 13 Rhône grape varietals of the Domaine are characterized by having always been harvested by hand, and cultivated and vinified organically. Archives testify that in 1422, the Saladin family bought a newly planted vineyard in the 'lieu-dit' of Chaveyron, a locality of the village of Saint Marcel d'Ardèche. Since then, 21 generations of the family have kept the winegrowing tradition alive. Amongst the first twenty generations of winegrowers at Domaine Saladin, Joseph, followed by Adrien, and then Paul Saladin, were also wine and olive oil merchants from 1840 to 1914. The Saladin family's historic cellar is located at the heart of the village, in the old 18th century château of the Villeperdrix family.
Paul and Louis
At the age of 13, Louis Saladin (Loï) and his brother, Paul, worked the 6 hectares of family vineyards with a horse alongside their father, Henri, and their grandfather, Paul. Loï, the second of the six children, gradually, and until the 1980s, chose and acquired 12 hectares of 'terroirs' left abandoned because of the harsh work involved. In 1978, Louis Saladin married Annick. Together, they created “Le Mazet,” a rustic restaurant in the heart of the vineyards and under the shade of Domaine Saladin's oak trees.
Marie-Laurence and Elisabeth
In September 2003, Elisabeth and Marie-Laurence, daughters of Louis and Annick, created their first vintage. While they were still students, they took over from their father who was recovering from an illness. Marie-Laurence graduated as an agricultural engineer and Elisabeth from business school. They both worked at various times with Marcel Guigal and Marcel Richaud in France as well as Randall Grahm in California and Philippe Debrus in Chile.
The selection of 'terroirs' at Domaine Saladin reveals a true exception in the wine world: the vineyards have always been organically farmed and maintained. By choice, and thanks to their location, Paul, Louis, Elisabeth and Marie-Laurence have never used pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or any other chemical compounds. Previous generations did without, as they did not know about them. Organic farming was already an inherited family philosophy and way of life for Elisabeth and Marie-Laurence, who still prefer not to label their wines as 'Agriculture Biologique' (Certified Organic) by 'Ecocert' (despite the fact that they are indeed certified). They would rather let the wines speak for themselves. Ardent believers in the protection and preservation of its 'terroirs,' the countryside and the environment, the Saladin family continues to work, generation after generation, on crafting authentic wines.
To the cellar…
The wines at Domaine Saladin are natural, vinified without chemical additives (artificial yeast, tannins, and enzymes). Only a small amount of sulphur is added to the tanks and during the bottling. The indigenous yeasts give our wines their 'signature' and convey the natural identity of each 'terroir.' The underground cellar is based on a gravitational system. A pneumatic press optimizes the process, treating the grapes with care. The 'elevage' (aging of the wine) is done in oak 'foudres' (large barrels) and concrete tanks for the reds. The whites and rosés are vinified in underground vats and aged in stainless steel. Everything, which is decided upon in the cellar, is guided by the aromas, the sensations and the emotions on sampling the wines.
To the blending
Marie-Laurence, Elisabeth and Jean-Louis Grippat orchestrate the blends, the ultimate marriage of emotion and creativity! Their greatest pleasure is sharing their passion.
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