Two of Burgundy’s greatest names – Jacques Seysses, founder of Domaine Dujac, and Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti – are the partners behind this pioneering property in Provence, northeast of Marseille and due east of Aix-en-Provence. In less than two decades, they have transformed this stunning 46-hectare site into one of the top wine estates in Southern France.
In the late 1980’s they began searching for a vineyard in the south of France. The two icons of Burgundy, along with good friend Michel Macaux, were convinced that great wines could be produced in the Var, an area better known for quaffable rosés than complex, world-class reds and whites and purchased an estate in 1989.
The three amigos were impressed by the site’s southern exposure and clay and limestone soils, which in some areas resembled the great terroirs of Burgundy and in others the top coteaux of St. Emilion.
The estate, which shows evidence of settlement and culture since Etruscan times, is located between 420-450 meters above sea level on a gently sloping hillside between the mountain ranges of Monts Aurelien and Sainte Baume. The climate is the classic warm days and cool nights that most exceptional appellations enjoy. The unusually long growing season virtually guarantees consistently ripe fruit with good acidities and great complexity.
To ensure the finest possible wines the world-famous Burgundian owners took the following steps:
• Build a new winemaking facility that was harmonious with its surroundings and equipped with all the high-tech and low-tech tools needed to produce first-class wines.
• Graft most of the existing Cinsault vines over to Viognier, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah.
• Radically prune the vines (reducing canes by 50% in length) to lower yields and raise quality.
• Plant ground cover between every two rows, to further control vigor, retain surface water, and fix organic matter into the soil.
• Employ sustainable farming methods to preserve the character and integrity of the land.
• Hire respected local enologist Rémy Laugier in 1997 to continue the winery’s pursuit of quality.
As evidenced by the rave reviews from the press and trade, their efforts have been successful. In less than two decades, Triennes has been transformed from a neglected parcel in an obscure, little regarded region into one of the top wine producing estates in Southern France.