Domaine l'Ameillaud is owned and run by the Franco-English husband-and-wife team of Sabine and Nick Thompson, who have recently celebrated three decades of making wines at the property.
They are in Cairanne, east of the Rhône, where Sabine's family have been making wine for many generations. She and Nick were invited to manage the property by the then owner, Sabine's grandfather, in 1983, and Nick left his family's steel business and moved to France. Sabine and he studied oenology together at Beaune in Burgundy and then set about running the domaine. The passing of Sabine's grandfather in 1991 meant that they were offered an opportunity to purchase part of the property from the heirs and they took it.
They now own over 50 hectares, and produce Cairanne and Côtes-du-Rhône wines, as well as Vin de Pays from Principauté d'Orange and Vaucluse wines from classic Rhône varieties, principally grenache, syrah, carignan and mouvédre. Many of the vines are now between 30 and 60 years old.
All the fruit is hand-harvested and destemmed prior to fermentation using natural yeasts in concrete vats and stainless steel. No new oak is used so as not to mask the fruit and aromatic characteristics of the varieties that they grow.
The couple have earned themselves a fine reputation for the quality of their wines, both in France and abroad.