North of Garéoult at the end of a quaint little road, the Domaine de Garbelle cultivates its difference with authenticity and quality. A place where the art of living the good life, viticulture know how and the taste for the finer things are perpetuated.
Today, in the hands of Jean Charles Gambini, it is a place to be shared with discretion and amongst the initiated.
The old press that thrones next to the cellar has quite a story. It belonged to the coop then was bought by a wine maker to make his wine. There was proof that it was dismantled and put back together in this old man's cellar. When Jean Charles got possession he had to solder it to get it out of the building and then rebuild it on his Domain…
Horizontal tasting, "dégustation à l'horizontale" does not mean you lie down and drink (without moderation) your wine. It is the tasting of different wines of the same appellation and vintage, to put forth the characteristics of the "terroir" and of its vinification. For the well informed it is also a way to show and understand how each Domain was able to extract the best of the vintage and minimise its weaknesses.
Other than the reception hall that holds up to 100 people, the Domaine de Garbelle proposes an open house to its clients in May: lamb roast and wine tasting. In October, it is the annual exotic Mediterranean Plant Fair that gathers a dozen of nurseries from surrounding areas, which present their plants specially adapted to the gardens of Provence.
North of Garéoult at the end of a quaint little road, the Domaine de Garbelle cultivates its difference with authenticity and quality. A place where the art of living the good life, viticulture know how and the taste for the finer things are perpetuated. Today, in the hands of Jean Charles Gambini, it is a place to be shared with discretion and amongst the initiated.
In the north quarters of Garéoult, the Chemin André Malraux, longs quaint housing before arriving to a small wooded area on the left, a few olive groves to the right and further on to a dry stone wall which indicates the Domain. Within a few meters you enter the court yard and its three buildings; the house on the left, the "Bastide" on the right and the cellar in the middle.
On the cellar wall an old advertising plate announces the benefits of wine: "Le vin et la plus saine et…la plus hygénique des boissons – Pasteur". If it's scientific…Enter the cellar and its coolness welcomes you, as well as Jean Charles' firm hand shake. At the head of the family Domain since 2006, Jean Charles likes to share a bit of history about the place: "The Bastide is named after its locality. In front of my parents house a bit lower than the old pond still exists an old part of the stone wall that was used to beat the wheat. Like many farms in the region, multiculture was practised. In Provençal, Garbelle means wheat germ".
In 1988, Jean Charles and his father built the cellar after many years of bringing their grapes to the coop in Garéoult. Today, the wine grower exploits a dozen hectares of vine dedicated to reasoned culture. "The organic conversion is in place", Jean Charles announces with pride. "It is the result of an ancient desire and the willingness and concrete practise of responsible agriculture." On the four parcels of clay and limestone soils which are distributed around the heart of the Domain, two thirds of the production is dedicated to Rosé. "Rosé is a very exciting wine to produce", confesses Jean Charles. "However, I get real pleasure in producing red, which benefits from this exceptional "terroir". The maturation in barrels allows the wine to express itself naturally for I do not filter before bottling."
The Domain also produces its very own olive oil. Two old plots were brought back to life for production of a few hundred trees. Delivered to a private oil mill 250 kilograms at a time to avoid oxidization, the olives therefore reveal a true and typical taste, in respect with tradition. Honey is another of Jean Charles' passions. He has hives on the Domain which he transports all the way from the plateau of Valensole to the chestnut forests of Collobrières. Lavender honey, All Flowers and Maquis are all available at the cellar boutique.
Amateur of the finer things in life, collector of antique objects, Jean Charles Gambini has the rare gift and authentic pleasure in sharing the fruits of his passion. It would be a shame to pass on such an opportunity.