Location – In the Heart of a Spectacular Landscape
The estate vineyards of Château Gassier, located at an altitude of 330 meters (1,083 feet), benefit from an ideal location in the heart of the Arc Valley, protected by Mount Sainte-Victoire immediately to the north (the rocky peak painted repeatedly by Cézanne, who lived nearby in the 1880s), the Regagnas hills in the south and Mont Aurélien to the east. Acknowledged as an appellation in its own right in 2005, the vineyard area of Sainte-Victoire is viewed as one of the most unspoiled in France. It has been classified as a natural reserve “Grand Site de France,” an area that is conserved and managed following sustainable development practices.
Soil and Grape Varietals – The Terroir of Château Gassier
In order to gain a better knowledge of their terroir and define the most beneficial affinity between soil composition and grape variety, Gassier has dug 17 deep, pedological cavities. (“Pedology” is “soil science.”) Gassier has identified four main terroirs on the estate:
• To the west, the soil is silty sand, ideal for Syrah.
• To the south, the dry and rocky land with little depth is planted to Grenache and Rolle.
• To the east, the base of the slopes is deep and rocky, perfect for Cinsault.
• To the north, the clay and limestone soil overlays a sandstone slab which is best for Grenache.
Harvest and Vinification
The harvest takes place very early in the morning to retain the freshness in the grapes. The grapes are then destemmed and vinified by direct press and a brief pellicle maceration. The recent investments in equipment allow Gassier to keep the grapes separated from oxygen during pressing, thereby preserving the aromas, which give an outstanding fruitiness to the wines.
Sustainable Farming – Château Gassier’s Commitment
In 2010, Château Gassier decided to take the first steps towards organic viticulture. Since then, parcel after parcel, the land has been worked without chemicals, and all viticultural practices follow EU rules for organic certification.
The Gassier family has a long history in Provence, tracing its ancestry to Barcelonnette in the Alpes-de-Hautes-Provence. As early as 1421, the family was recognized as part of the Provencal nobility, and in 1938 the Gassier family was granted the title of baron.
The Gassiers’ winemaking history began at the end of the 19th century when they purchased 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) in Saint Estève, of which 200 hectares (494 acres) were dedicated to vineyards. In 1982, Anthony Gassier, representing the fourth generation of vinegrowers in the family, purchased the 40 hectares (98.8 acres) where Chateau Gassier now stands. The winery had been built in 1973 and was known as Jas du Luc at the time of purchase. Over the years, the family’s passion, hard work and experience have revealed Château Gassier’s potential for excellence. In constant search of the finest expression of their unique terroir, the Château Gassier team concentrates on growing and vinifying rosés from the Côtes de Provence and Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire
In 2004, the Gassier and Jeanjean families decided to join forces and run the estate together. Today, the vineyard is managed by Baron Georges Gassier, representing the fifth winegrowing generation of the family and working with the support of his father.