Founded in 1860, Domaine de Montvac has been passed from mother to daughter for the past three generations. Cécile Dusserre is the current winemaker in this long line of women and is now joined by her husband Jean and her daughters in the vineyard or cellar. And with three daughters of her own, the matrilineal tradition will most certainly live on.
This family run winery holds a total of 22 hectares of organically certified vineyards: 3 ha. in Gigondas, 2 ha. in Cotes du Rhone, and 17 ha. in Vacqueyras. Domaine de Montvac does not use herbicides or pesticides. Embellishing the nature of the local climate, Cécile harvests when the grapes are slightly overripe. “The notion of the terroir translates,” says Cécile. “The vineyard has roots which can go back to 50 or 60 inches below to get all the potential of the soil.” In Vacqueyras, the yields are low to provide maximum concentration. Subject to the Mistral winds, which cool the Rhone Valley by a few degrees for a third of the year, Cécile Dusserre’s small plot of vines is lined with pine trees that help protect vines from Mistral gusts. And while these cooler temps help keep the vines free of humidity, and thereby free of disease, they also helps concentrate the grapes.
Trained in classical dance, Dusserre remains focused on motion and this inspires the wines and their names. In 1992, she began training with her father, an oenologist. She developed a light touch in the cellar and prefers not to crush the fruit, but only destems the clusters. All fermentations are spontaneous and use native yeast.