There is always something thrilling about Cairanne. The ancient hill-top village and beautiful hillsides do nothing to dispel this feeling, and even tasting in Romain Roche’s exceeding cold and damp cellar cannot detract from the experience. Among all the villages entitled to append their name after Côtes-du-Rhône Village, Cairanne stands out. With the local AOP having finalized the boundaries and having updated its rules it appears that 2014 will mark the inaugural vintage of Cairanne as a cru.
Despite being one of the youngest winemakers in Cairanne and owning one of the newest domaines in the village, Romain Roche is descended from generations of winegrowers. His father, Marcel owns 50 hectares in the village and once served as the president of the local cooperative so when Romain returned to his home village in 2009 he began to rent the best parcels of his family’s vineyards from his father. He currently farms about 15 hectares of older vines located on the slopes near the village and on the rocky plateau bordering Plan de Dieu and Rasteau. While the average age of most of the plots he farms is around 50 years old, he also owns the oldest vineyard in Cairanne, La Bousquette, which is planted with 120 year old Grenache and Carignan on sandy, clay soils.