It’s easy to think of grand old Chateauneuf du Pape estates like Domaine Marcoux as being fusty, old fashioned places, where the notion of progress is looked down upon with the kind of disdain the French normally reserve for English tourists, fast food and regular bathing.

However, despite the fact that the Armenier sisters Sophie and Catherine are the latest in a line of Chateauneuf du Pape family vignerons which stretches back 700 years, their eyes are fixed firmly on the future.

Indeed, Marcoux has become something of a trailblazer for this most famous of French wine regions, turning its production methods over to biodynamics back in 1996 and rising in prominence and popularity to become a star producer. Their secret? Keeping production levels small, treating their vines and vineyards with the utmost respect and reverence, and being unafraid to let the vines do what they do best with as little intervention as possible.

With 17.5 hectares of vineyards in the region, Marcoux benefits from a cross-section of the best Chateauneuf du Pape appellations. It all results in wines which pack in loads of fruit character, unrivaled expression of terroir, and an earthiness and ‘realness’ which provokes envy, intrigue and imitation in the old school producers their region is perhaps more famed for.

With great things predicted for the coming vintages, the Armenier sisters are living proof that progress is possible in even the most traditional corners of France. Salut!

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