Yves Gras, a 4th generation vigneron, is one of the strongest personalities in the Southern Rhône; he is also very generous having helped many young wine producers to improve their techniques and to find some markets. Now joined by his son Benjamin, having finished his oenological education with a recent Stage at Domaine de la Romanée Conti, the dynamic, passionate and quality-driven duo continuously forge Domaine Santa Duc an enviable reputation.
Two soil types dominate the 23 hectares of vineyards (10 hectares in Gigondas) – one being the calcareous marls of Clos Derrière Vieille (hillside behind the old Hospices); the other being poor red stony clay soils of Les Hautes Garrigues, Les Carbonnières, Les Rocassières, Santa Duc, Les Pailleroudas, Le Goujard et Plane. Yves’ intense respect for his vines, his fruit and his wines guides his decision-making. He works to maintain biodiversity through organic farming (certified organic since 2012). It is integral to the work of the soil, the care & respect of the foliage, debudding, early harvesting, leaf removal; the ripe grapes are then picked by hand & gently crushed. Maceration for long periods to complex aromas and its coating of fine tannins, before being matured gently in oak barrels or foudres. At Domaine Santa Duc, they like to keep it simple. Cold maceration of fruit, indigenous yeasts, maturation on lees & bottling without filtration epitomise Yves’ approach. Since 2006, he has refined his style by shortening the time of cuvaison and by using different cooling methods, in order to reduce some of the severity that was previously characteristic of his wines. They still have plenty of local character and huge personality, but are certainly a little more approachable in their youth.
As being replanted for many years the proportion of Mourvèdre steadily increases and today arrives at 40%. It brings the wine freshness, licorice aromas and structure. This terroir creates deep, reputable wines, with spice and a dense tannin structure, as well as an exceptional longevity.
Grape Varieties: Grenache, Mourvèdre.