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Domaine Richeaume, France – Henning and Sylvain Hoesch

June 21, 2012

The domaine covers 200 acres of land, with 60 planted to vines. Grape yield is kept to a very low 15 to 25 hectoliters per hectare. In addition, the Hoesch family farms 12 acres of olive orchards, 50 acres of grain, and maintains 75 acres of pasture for sheep (around 100 head). It’s a polyculture farm, as it had been down through the ages, and Henning Hoesch intentionally maintains this culture as a way of preserving natural balance.

Henning Hoesh, born in 1940, gave up his career as an historian at Yale in the US in 1972 to become one of the pioneers of agriculture and organic winegrowing in the south of France.  A holistic approach, natural vinification and organic farming of the vines as well as the quality of his wines are all very important to him.  For Henning Hoesch, ‘organic farming’ and ‘high quality products’ are not contradictory terms, but rather necessary conditions one for the other.  His unwavering search for independence is what gives a unique character to the wines of the domaine, some of which are products outside the constraints of the AOC.

Sylvain Hoesch, born in 1970, joined the domaine in 2001 after studying oenology in Marseille and after serving as an apprentice at renowned wineries in Australia and California.  Today, he manages the domaine and the wines with as much rigor and insistence on quality as his father.

Collaborators of the domaine come from diverse backgrounds: Provençal peasants, Polish workers, oenology students from Germany.  They all feed a continual exchange of practices such that the ancestral savoir-faire of the farmer benefits from the recent theories of the oenology students.

website: www.domaine-richeaume.com

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