At the beginning of the 1970s, the Chaudière family chose the exceptional site of Château Pesquié, situated in Mormoiron at the foot of Mont Ventoux, to make their wines. As well as the great beauty of the site, the family was attracted by this crossroads of altitudes, geological diversity, and cool micro-climate.
A FAMILY STORY
Odette et René Bastide
The story began with a pioneering couple: René and Odette Bastide. Their shared passion for wine led them to change career late on in life. They established themselves at Château Pesquié, just a few years before Ventoux became an AOC, in 1973. René and Odette laid down the foundations of an ambition worthy of this magnificent property. They restructured the vineyard and brought their production up to a very high level of quality.
Another couple played a big part in developing the estate and strengthening the family winegrowing tradition: Edith Bastide, daughter of René and Odette, and her husband Paul Chaudière. He is the son of Marcelle and Charles Chaudière, from a family with mixed roots, originally from Alsace before moving to Algeria at the end of the 19th century and working in agriculture and winegrowing. Charles, an agricultural engineer who finished his career teaching viticulture and oenology at the Agricultural College of Orange, passed on his love of the land and wine to Paul.
Marcelle et Charles Chaudière
Paul et Edith Chaudière
Paul and Édith initially chose another path but Mont Ventoux drew them back and their winegrowing roots called out to them in the mid-eighties. The previous generation passed on to them the love of a job well done and the importance of quality: Château Pesquié quickly became one of the key vineyards behind the growing reputation of the Ventoux AOC.
At the end of the ’80s they began working the land according to reasoned agricultural practices and were one of the first vineyards in France to be certified by the FARRE network, which stands for “Forum de l’Agriculture Raisonnée et Respectueuse de l’Environnement” (Forum of Reasoned Agriculture Respecting the Environment). They laid down the foundations for the switch to organic winegrowing for the next generation. The Chaudière family’s reputation continued to grow when they set out to conquer markets abroad, until the time came when it was Edith and Paul’s turn to hand over to their two sons: Alexandre and Frédéric.
La 4ème génération
Frédéric et Alexandre Chaudière
Frédéric initially seemed destined for the world of culture, leaving home at 16 to follow a literary study cursus, focused on history and philosophy, between Paris and Rome. He returned to the family vineyard in 2003, and what was supposed to be a brief stay turned into the birth of a sincere passion. This tireless traveller brings an intellectual curiosity, an open mind and a taste for experimentation which has helped the family’s outlook to evolve. The remarkable complementarity between the two brothers, Alexandre and Frédéric, is now a real catalyst for the family business. Together they have developed the Paradou wines and converted the vineyard to organic and biodynamic agriculture.
For Alexandre, who manages the family wine production, the vineyard was his favourite playground from an early age. After pocketing a diploma in winegrowing and winemaking, he travelled to widen his horizons and discover different terroirs, different varietals, and new lands. This led him around the world for a period of almost seven years: Burgundy, Beaujolais, Moselle, Côte-Rôtie, Australia, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, etc. On his return to Mont Ventoux in 2006, he progressively took over from his father. He has a very intuitive and natural connection with the earth and the vines, and was spontaneously and immediately at ease in the job, having helped out in the vineyard from a young age. So, a great deal of his knowledge was learnt in the field, well before obtaining his diploma.
A healthy vineyard produces much better grapes
Alexandre and Frédéric have reintroduced Bourboulenc and focused on developing Cinsault, especially for red wines. They explore forgotten varietals and are leading several experiments with varietals that had almost fallen by the wayside.
Capturing the rare and characteristic element that is freshness.
The ideal maturity of the grapes conserves the best natural acidity in the wines while expressing the aromatic potential of the fruit. In the same vein, the Chaudière family prefers gentle infusion rather than an overly-aggressive extraction of the structure and the tannins.