Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Domaine du Paternel, Cassis

We drive past the entrance to Domaine Du Paternel after we exit the A 50 autoroute and are winding our way down the D 559 connecting road to Cassis. Each time I see the Domaine's sign, I think to myself that I should stop in to déguster - taste the Domaine du Paternel wines where the grapes are grown and crafted into wine.

You see, we have had very good rosé wines from Domaine du Paternel on the wine list for our Bistro Des Copains and I have enjoyed wonderful white wine from Cassis at home and with cousin Jean Marc from this Domaine on several occasions. So I have been wanting to stop in for several years.

Some weeks back, I thought it would be a good opportunity to educate our staff about the wines of Cassis after our visit to the picture-perfect village along the Mediterranean Sea. It was too cold to lay on the beach which runs along the Cassis harbor, so all agreed to go wine tasting.

Domaine du Paternel is a family-owned winery. Established by Pierre Cathinaud in 1951, the winery was taken over by his nephew Jean-Pierre Santini in 1962 and today his three children Jean-Christophe, Olivier and Laetitia work along side with him.

Domaine du Paternel is situated in an area of breathtaking scenic beauty with the majority of the vineyards planted on terraces built on the flank of the Massif de la Couronne de Charlemagne. The soil in the vineyards is clay and limestone.

The Cassis appellation is limited to the seaside commune of Cassis and covers 180 hectares. Twelve wineries make wine from the hand-picked grapes grown in the AOC. Domaine du Paternel covers 37 hectares or a little over 91 acres.

Domaine du Paternel produces white, red and rosé wines, the majority of which is Cassis Blanc (white) as is the case throughout the Cassis Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC).

Since 2000, Domaine du Paternel has been working to convert their vineyards to organic production by discontinuing the use of insecticides and herbicides.

We went into the cave - tasting room and were offered tastes of the 2009 Cassis Rosé. Unfortunately, the Domaine did not have any Cassis Blanc available for tasting that day. The 2009 Cassis Rosé is made of Grenache (62%), Cinsault (26%), and Mourvèdre (12%) grapes.

I thought this was a wonderful example of Cassis Rosé wine; I had to have a case to enjoy at our Sablet home. In France, wine is sold in cases that generally contain 6 750 ml bottles rather than the 12 we normally get from Northern California wineries.

Back on the road and headed home to Sablet after a wonderful day in Cassis.

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