This family-run estate is based in a 17th century house in the very heart of the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape itself and is now being run by the fifth generation. Françoise is winemaker and sister Béatrice and brother Didier are responsible for export and PR, and general management and sales respectively.
They own 43 hectares of vines, 21 of them in the south at Grand Coulet while eight are on the celebrated plateau of Le Crau to the east, covering a diverse range of terroirs and spread across 30 different parcels. They are fully committed to farming sustainably, with the utmost respect for the land and the wider environment and they refuse to use synthetic pesticides and herbicides. All harvesting is done by hand and the grapes are carefully sorted at the winery to ensure that the health and quality of the fruit is excellent.
The Mayards currently make The Society's Exhibition Châteauneuf-du-Pape. We worked with Françoise and Béatrice Mayard and after tasting all their foudres, made up a blend which would provide enjoyment as a young wine while at the same time maintaining a good potential for ageing. Most of the fruit comes from the eastern end of the Appellation, from the area known as La Crau. Grenache provides the base but there is also some fragrant syrah and some cinsault too. The blend represented a full foudre and it was in a single large oak foudre that it was aged for just over a year before bottling.
Among their other cuvées they also make Le 'Clos du Calvaire', a Châteauneuf-du-Pape bottled a little younger and made from grenache, syrah and cinsault from various terroirs, and Cuvée la Crau de ma Mère, from very old vines in a small parcel on the pebble-strewn Crau plateau. This is a flagship wine, more concentrated and from 80-year-old grenache vines supported by small percentages of mourvédre and syrah given more ageing time in oak foudres.