Located about a five minute drive outside the village of Châteauneuf-du- Pape along the road which leads to Courthézon you will find Château de Vaudieu. It is one of three 18th century Châteaux located in the appellation, tucked into a small valley surrounded by hills and plateau. It is at the intersection of several major terroirs: sandy soils to the north, along a border it shares with Château Rayas, pale limestone and clays centered around a forested hillock, and two large plateaux of galets over red clay soils. In total there are 70 hectares within one contiguous estate – something very rare in the appellation.
Laurent, and his brother Julien, are the grandsons of Gabriel Meffre. Through their mother, Sylvette, they inherited several properties when Gabriel died in 1987 including Château de Vaudieu, and Domaine des Bosquets in Gigondas. The estate had a great reputation during the 19th century exporting its wines all over Europe but it had fallen into disrepair by the time that Gabriel purchased it in 1955. At that time there were only about 25 hectares of vines which Gabriel expanded to nearly the current size of 70 hectares. In the replanting he included a very high proportion of white varieties equaling about 1/7 of the total plantings including a vineyard of Grenache Blanc on the highest part of the property.
Val de Dieu, the name of the valley located in the heart of Châteauneuf- du-Pape and just to the east of the famed castle itself lends its name to the estate, Château de Vaudieu, as well as the cuvée made from the vines that are grown in this narrow valley. Val de Dieu starts near the entrance to the property where the heavier sandy clay, and more drought resistant soils benefit the growing of Mourvedre. It continues up a gentle rise where sandy limestone soils are planted with Syrah before cresting a gentle hill of decomposed sandstone soils and the Grenache vines planted in them. By combining these three varieties, each grown on terroirs suitable for their full expression, and each vinified to bring out their potential, Val de Dieu represents both the complexity of the site as well as the historical importance of the three main grape varieties of the region.
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