It’s difficult to begin thinking of Chateauneuf du Pape - the most highly regarded cru in all of the Southern Rhone Valley region of France, without considering the wonderful wines of Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe. This historic and regionally important winery has gained something of a legendary status over the past few decades, and has found success after success in the capable hands of the Brunier family, who have overseen production there for a hundred years. The principal mission of Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe is the expression of the fabulous terroir they possess - this is serious French wine country, where great debts are owed to the ideal climatic conditions and complex soils which help to produce wines of true character and distinction. The high altitude, the rough and low-yielding terrain, and the quality of the Grenache vines which grow there all contribute to the fame of this region, and the family expertise of the Bruniers, now in its fourth generation, put these to good use in order t create wines worthy of their label.
The Brunier family first took over Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe in 1898, when Hippolyte Brunier began making wines with his small patch of vineyard. Less than one hectare of vines were used in the original Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe wines - Hippolyte was a modest farmer at the time - but it quickly became apparent that this tiny piece of land between Chateauneuf du Pape and Bedarrides was something special, and capable of producing remarkable wines. While the land grew fantastic grapes, it wasn’t easy land to manage. Indeed, the exposure to the elements - the rain and hail and harsh winds - are tended by only the bravest vintners, even to this day.
Today, the winery is managed by the latest generation of Brunier boys - brothers Frederic and Daniel. They’ve expanded their family’s winery to cover over seventy hectares, and continue in the traditions their great grandfather started. Unfiltered wines are commonplaces at Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, in an attempt to bottle the very essence of this challenging and rewarding land, and the Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and Cinsault varietal grapes they grow continue to be among the finest the region produces.