Domaine des Cèdres

Wine storage at Cèdres

who? what? when? where? why? how?

who grows the grapes at Domaine des Cèdres? who makes the wines?

Dominique and Genevieve Pons oversee, and do, everything at the winery from farming their grapes to filling  bottles and everything in between.  More than forty years ago they decided that all farming at their estate would be organic and with that they moved into a tiny minority of farmers in the area working without chemicals or pesticides.  Today, they are recognized as pioneers in organic farming.

In the winery, Dominique leads much of the production, but Genevieve will touch almost every bottle that they produce, whether it be on the bottling line, as it is labelled, or preparing orders to ship.  Their son Nicolas and his wife Mathilde are close by and contribute to the management of the estate as well.  The picture here of the blushing bride and that lovely tractor provides a fun look at their marriage and life on this small farm.

Dominique and Genevieve Pons, Domaine des Cedres

what wines do they make at Domaine des Cèdres?

The Domaine des Cèdres Côtes du Rhône is the vast bulk of the production.  Dominated by Grenache with Syrah and a bit of Carignan, the wine is like a favorite t-shirt or a comfortable pair of jeans: it might not be the cork you’ll pop when you invite the Queen of England over for dinner, but it’s a wine we open the way we reach for old jeans on Sunday morning or when going out to a local dive bar on Wednesday night.  It just fits

The Côtes du Rhône “Villages” is broader and more intense.  Older vines and higher altitudes mean that the fruit is more refined and layered.  Finally, the Pons make a wonderful rose that typifies Roses from this area – clean, bright, low alcohol, and inexpensive.

Magnums, half bottles and Rose from Cedres in Illinois

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when did Domaine des Cèdres start?

The estate was founded in 1906, and from the start has had a focus on farming without relying on chemicals to promote growth or deter pests.  Dominique Pons stepped into the full time management of the farm and estate in 1970 and earned a certification for organic farming in 1973.  For more than forty years, there have been no pesticides or chemical fertilizers.  In 2011 they were named as part of a small group of “Pioneers of Organics”, a small group of French Viticulteurs who lead the way decades ago and who continue to this day.
Saint Nazaire and surrounding vines

where is Domaine des Cèdres?

The tiny town of Sainte Nazaire in the southern Côtes du Rhône in an area called the Gard Rhodadien is roughly an hour and a half from Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast, but the climate is decidedly continental.  The famous Mistral, or wind from the north, that sweeps down the Rhône Valley all summer and fall does wonders to dry the grapes after rains and prevent the build up of disease.   Fittingly, the winey looks across to Mont Ventoux, or “Windy Mountain” which sits at the southern end of the Rhône Valley.
Southern Rhône

why is Domaine des Cèdres a Candid Wine? why might you try a bottle?

Simple, unpretentious, straight-forward and generous describe the wines and the people at Domaine des Cedres. Dominique and Genevieve Pons are small scale farmers who have literally pioneered organic farming practices in their corner of the Rhone Valley. They’ve built a reputation for the consistency, quality, and value of their wines which we find satisfying in a way that pricey bottles can not be.  We couldn’t ask for a better family to work with in the area, and we are thrilled to have met them via the introduction of Chartrand Imports.

If you love to drink wine on Wednesdays or at picnics they way we do, without pretense, The Pons’ Côtes du Rhône might be for you too. Try it with most anything simply done off the grill – from pork to mushrooms, or shrimp to sweet potatoes. 

40 years of organic farming

how is the wine made at Domaine des Cèdres?

Farmed organically since 1972, the fruit that goes into the Domaine des Cedres Côtes du Rhône has a vibrancy that the Pons family works to maintain in each bottle.  Fermentations depend on native yeasts and proceed in large concrete vats that have been in use at the winery for decades.  A judicious amount of oak barrel is used to age the Côtes du Rhône Villages, while the Côtes du Rhône finishes in the concrete tank and goes straight to bottle.  The wines are never fined with animal byproducts and the Cedres is Vegan-friendly. 
cedres_who tractor