Domaine Saint Prefert
Located in the famous Southern Rhone appellation of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Saint Prefert produces some of the best-known wines in the highly renowned region.
Since coming under new management in 2002, Domaine Saint Prefert has made a name for itself in a field with many contenders.
The history of Domaine Saint Prefert dates about to the early 1920s, when a man named Fernand Serre purchased a plot of land in the Southern Rhone. Domaine Saint Prefert wasn’t officially founded until about a decade later, but Serre’s new estate quickly earned a reputation as a producer of high quality Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines. The estate is particularly notable for being the first estate in the region to sell its wines in bottles at the beginning of the 1930s. It was also one of the first wines exported to the United States from the Southern Rhone.
Domaine Saint Prefert remained in the hands of the Serre family until 2002, when it was purchased by Isabel Ferrando, a former banker. Having grown tired of the banking world, Ferrando studied winemaking at Domaine Raspail-Ay in the Gigondas appellation and it seems this investment has paid off.
Since taking over Domaine Saint Prefert, Ferrando has produced at least nine notable vintages, greatly increasing the estate’s holdings. Always pushing her estate to improve, she has continued to purchase other small parcels of land to plant and produce her excellent wines on.
In 2013, the estate was recognised for using 100% biodynamic farming techniques, helping to keep the wines both modern and sustainable so that generations to come can also enjoy them.
The estate itself is around 80 hectares of land, of which the vineyards of Domaine Saint Prefert cover about 13 hectares.
Almost all of the estate’s wines are produced in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, amounting to a full 95% of its total production. The remaining 5% is produced in nearby Cotes du Rhone, which is also home to many other notable wine producers.
Domaine Saint Prefert produces a total of 5 different wines: 3 red Chateauneuf-du-Papes and 2 white Chateauneuf-du-Papes. The red Chateauneuf-du-Pape is made up of 90% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault. Each year, Domaine Saint Prefert produces 1,000 cases of its red Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, one of their white wines, is a blend of 90% Clairette, 5% Grenache Blanc, and 5% Bourboulenc. For each vintage, only 350 cases of this wonderful white wine is produced.
The small yield from this vineyard makes its wines particularly prized throughout the region and the world.
In total, 43% of the estate’s output is made up of a Southern Rhone red blend, 22% is a blend of Grenache and Mourvedre, 15% is pure Grenache and 10% is a Southern Rhone white blend.
The vines grown on the Domaine Saint Prefert estate have a long history; with most around 60 years old. In fact, some are as old as 100. This is unusual in an estate, but is notable because the vines therefore produce low, concentrated yields.
Domaine Saint Prefert practices a traditional method of planting called selection massale, which means that when vines are replanted, they’re imbedded with cuttings from the vineyard’s oldest vines. This allows the domaine to keep its terroir, as well as encouraging new growth while extending the life of its oldest, most valuable vines.
The soil here is extremely gravelly and stony, providing the perfect landscape for the hardy grapevines to thrive in.
Each variety of grape grown on the estate is vinified separately. The red wines are not destemmed and are aged in French oak barrels and demi-muids for about 18 months. The white wines are aged in a combination of oak barrels and steel tanks, depending on the wine.
Wines from Domaine Saint Prefert are distinctly modern. Isabel Ferrando does not shy away from new techniques, which she blends with traditional methods of wine production, and it’s this embrace of modernity that has put her ahead of the pack in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region.
From this estate, we have selected the 2007 Domaine Saint Prefert Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve Auguste Favier.