The Brunier family have been growers in Châteauneuf for more than a century. Today, they have some 70 hectares of vineyards all centred on the prized Plateau de la Crau which lies to the south-east of the village.
For a long time the family sold everything in bulk to négociants. However, the Brunier family always made a little for themselves and, in 1978, a little more than usual which they sold, for the first time, in bottle. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Today Vieux Télégraphe is among the top ten estates in Châteauneuf. This is a well-established vineyard with lots of old vines. The vines are trained like small bushes and they’re planted at quite low density which allows the vines to cope with the strong Mistral wind, the typical scorching heat of summer and the very little available water.
Most of the vines are of grenache but among the older plots it was quite common to plant odd vines of other varieties, such as cinsault and counoise, and these other varieties undoubtedly add to the complexity of the wine. Moreover, the Bruniers like adding a little white to the mix and so there are some vines of very old clairette as well.
Vieux Télégraphe is never a wine to drink early. The Bruniers opt for long maceration to extract colour and flavour and a dark tannic structure for longer life. They also make a white Vieux Télégraphe from clairette, roussanne, bourbulenc, picpoul and grenache blanc.