In the early 1970’s, Odette & René Bastide bought Château Pesquié from an heir of a famous Provençal writer, Alphonse Daudet. Despite a long vine growing tradition in the area, the AOC Côtes du Ventoux was not created until 1973. Thus making them pioneers of this new AOC. It was the beginning of a new dynamic driving the local production toward quality rather than quantity. René & Odette largely restructured the vineyards. The results of that work are now vines that average 35 to 40 years of age (the oldest are close to a hundred years old).
In the mid-1980’s, Edith & Paul Chaudière, René & Odette’s daughter and son-in-law, decided to give up their medical careers (as a physiotherapist and a speech therapist) to take over the family estate. They prepared for the adventure by resuming their studies. They passed the Consultant Sommelier exams at the “Université du Vin” in Suze-La-Rousse and prepared a thesis on Terroir Selection. They went on several research trips to other great wine regions (Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Oregon, Burgundy, Piedmont, Rioja…). They completed this academic preparation with vocational training at the wine Institute in Orange, where Paul’s father, Charles Chaudière, was an oenology professor. On the Chaudière side of the family, vine cultivation has been an important tradition for the past 150 years. The Chaudière family emigrated from Alsace to Algeria, when Alsace became temporarily German territory in 1871. There in Algeria, the family acquired land where they began growing vines.
Having completed this intensive preparation, Paul, Edith, René & Odette finally set up the Château Pesquié cellars in 1989, leaving the local Cooperative. They carried out their first vinifications in 1990, which was a fabulous vintage. The Quintessence 1990 is still beautiful at the moment! At the time, the Appellation had fewer than 10 independent cellars and, once again, the Chaudière family stood out as pioneers in the Ventoux AOC.
In 2003, Paul and Edith’s two sons, Alexandre and Frédéric, took over the Domaine. They are continuing the family tradition: to harness the potential of the outstanding Ventoux terroir and to make extraordinary wines. Château Pesquié is now a leading estate in the Ventoux AOC and the southern Rhone Valley. The new generation hopes to take it to the next level!
There is evidence of vine cultivation at Château Pesquié that dates to two thousand years ago. The recent discovery of a pottery workshop and wine pottery from the Roman era (30 BC) in the Côtes du Ventoux Appellation confirms that the region is one of the oldest wine producing areas in France. The Church played a fundamental role in developing the region, particularly during the Pope’s residence in Avignon in the 14th Century.
Over the centuries, the estate passed through the hands of a large number of Lords, including the Counts of Mormoiron, the Lords of Maubec and the Marquis de Reilhanette. The Château took on its present appearance in approximately 1750. It typifies the symmetrical style of a Provençal “bastide” with a central entrance, adjoining reception rooms on the ground floor with the upstairs dedicated to more private living. The superb rows of plane trees lining the driveway date back to this period.
In the Provençal language, the term “pesquié”(from the vulgar Latin “pescarium”) originially describes a fishpond and applies to the lexical field surrounding springs and water which are vital commodities in the dry Provençal climate. The large “bastide” is built on an outstanding site, at the junction of two springs (captured in underground channels lined with stone) which intersect under the Château. There are fifteen fountains in the gardens. Finally, the western edge of the estate is bordered by a third spring. There’s no doubt that the Nymphs, who always gather at springs, still smile on this magical place.