Shaped by our winegrowers, with its little dry stone walls, the imposing hill exposes its steep, south-facing terraces, sheltered from the northerly winds.
Incidentally, one of our magical plots, in the creation of our Hermitage Gambert de Loche, took around twenty years to be rebuilt...stone by stone!
What's more, only the south side of the hill is part of the Hermitage appellation area. The plain of Valence stops at its foot in the south, and in the west the Doux valley allows for a dip in the Ardeche plateau, prolonging the late afternoon sun exposure.
...and the Cave de Tain: two intimately intertwined stories!
Our inspired winegrowerss decided to set up their winery at the foot of the famous hillside, and among them Louis Gambert de Loche, our founding president, actively contributed to the development of Hermitage’s appellation decree. In 2017, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of the appellation and in 2018, the Cave de Tain’s 85th anniversary!
Or how to transform a variety of exceptional soils
This is one of the secrets of the reputation of Hermitage wines throughout the world!
- Granite in the west (a piece of the Massif Central detached by the change in course of the Rhone)
- Galets roulés (small surface stones) in the east transported by the Rhone. Very long, stable presence of the sea edge and several hundred million years between the top (older, galets broken down into clay favourable to white grapes and eolian deposits, filtering loess) and the bottom (galets still present).
From this gift from nature, we produce our Hermitage wines with structure and balance.
The vine culture on the Hermitage dates back over 2000 years and contributes to the legend... On these terraces, the work is done entirely by hand, the small walls stabilise the soil and the stakes (traditional wooden pegs) guide the vine. At the Cave de Tain, we continue to embrace the traditions of tying the vines with straw, with that fine action of quickly and precisely tying “straw knots”: it takes years to master it!
‘It is on this northern Rhone cru vineyards, in its original cradle that the SYRAH reaches its most perfect expression and its peak’.