One will notice “1768” carved into the stone entrance to Domaine du Murinais’ vaulted cellar as a testament to a long history of grape growing on the estate. While Domaine du Murinais is historically rooted in the Beaumont-Monteaux sector of Crozes Hermitage, winemaker Luc Tardy is the first of his family to commercially bottle wine after over 150 years of viticulture on the estate. Founding the modern domaine in 1998, Tardy has meticulously farmed on a plateau of Rhône riverbed pebbles and gravels guided by organic principles and worked his cellar with low-intervention winemaking methods.
Luc Tardy’s Oenology degree sets him in the contemporary moment, but his family’s winegrowing history compels him to stay true to traditional methods that eschew the use of chemicals in the vineyards and the cellar. 17 hectares of vines are maintained with great care and labor by Luc and his wife, Catherine. Rows alternate between native groundcover and plowed rows to promote the microbial diversity of the soils. Rigorous debudding and training regiments (three buds per shoot, two shoots per vine) keep yields low and avoids disease pressure with the aid of manual canopy management. No chemicals are used.
Harvest is performed by hand using small crates and sorted carefully upon arrival to the winery. While much of the fruit is sold, Tardy keeps his best grapes for Domaine du Murinais. In the cellar, the grapes are partially destemmed (60-70%) and set to cold soak for seven days at 10°C. Each plot is vinified separately and the free run juice is gravity fed to cement tanks where spontaneous fermentation begins. The red wines finish in demi-muids in the cellar’s cave.