Marcel Richaud, champion of Cairanne

We’d like to introduce you to the Vaucluse, where we find Marcel Richaud. He’s been working for many years now on renewing the vitality and image of Cairanne in the southern Rhône, building a solid reputation for his family domain in the process.

The story begins

Whilst Domaine Richaud’s success is somewhat recent, its history dates back to the start of the 20th century. Marrying Marie Constant in 1910, Marcel’s great-grandfather inherited some vineyards. The wine domain was created just before the First World War, for which he was called to the front and sadly never returned. His wife persisted with the vineyard on her own, before passing on the domain to her son Raoul in 1930. For several decades, the wine from Domaine Richaud contributed to the local cooperative, but it was Marcel who broke away from this tradition in 1974, deciding he’d like to craft his own cuvées.

Getting the best from Cairanne

With a profound respect for his vines and environment alike, this demanding and determined wine grower wanted to draw the best from his appellation from day one. Up until recent efforts, Cairanne had been a relatively unknown spot, but its rich and varied soils were promising alongside ripening Mediterranean heat and the complex aromas that could develop in the fruit. In 2015, Marcel got together with a group of neighbouring vintners to create official criteria for a Côtes-du-Rhône villages Cairanne appellation. Agreements include limiting the use of sulphur, motorised machinery, and herbicides. Following these guidelines, Marcel constantly aims towards improving the quality of his native grape varieties.

2015 was also the year in which Marcel’s children, Claire and Thomas, came back to the estate to join their father. Their biggest project is the replanting of some slopes that have been left to overgrow, in the hopes of continuing the family’s good work to promote Cairanne. The estate now covers 80 hectares between Cairanne and Rasteau, and they make both red and white wines.

Unique wines from a unique terroir

Marcel likes to make clean and precise wines. In his eyes, the best and only way to achieve this style is by letting nature express itself through organic cultivation and natural methods in the winery. He doesn’t want to make wines that are too ‘technical’, an approach which, to him, effaces individuality of each vintage and moves towards a standardisation of wine. He does admit, though, ‘My wine isn’t perfect. But when we aim to make irreproachable wine with no faults at all, we risk also getting rid of its character; the precision of the terroir and the vintage, the identity of the vintner’.

At iDealwine, we enjoy the identity expressed in Marcel Richaud’s wine very much. It has a delightful character and becomes finer over time.

Shop wines from Marcel Richaud here

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