After six years of study in Oenologist school in Orange (close to Chateauneuf-du-Pape) and diploma in his pocket, Julien Dugas's career spans making wine in many of the key villages and Crus of the Southern Rhône, including Rasteau, Gigondas, Séguret, Ventoux, Costière de Nimes, Vacqueyras and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (at Domaine le Vieux Télégraphe) as well as further afield in South Africa. As Julien describes himself "I am a man of the ground" - always close to the source of his wines and with a strong belief that this is key to making quality wine. While he’s the full-time winemaker at Domaine Boutinot he’s also responsible for over-seeing all our Rhône produced wines as well.
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre
The estate is focused around six plots. At the highest point on La Montée du Ventabren (altitude 300m) sit Les Six Terrasses to the left and La Pauline to the right. Both are of Grenache Noir, date from the same vintage (planted 1969), and are terraced vineyards. These old bush vine Grenache Noir with their terroir of large, heat retaining pebble stones, produce low yields of deeply concentrated grapes. They are some of the best plots in the whole of the Cairanne appellation.
At a slightly lower altitude through the estate woodland is Font Crozes. A plot that is well-exposed to the wind and well suited to Mourvèdre – like Grenache Noir a late-ripening grape. Just around the corner from Font Crozes is south/south-west facing Saint Andéol, planted with Boutinot's oldest Grenache Noir. Planting records date back as long ago as 1946. Gloriously low-yielding and generally the last rows picked.
Of course in addition to Grenache Noir the other grape variety essential to any Cairanne is Syrah. Lower down the same hillside to Les Six Terrasses and La Pauline are two plots named La Ruche. The sixth plot is a small triangle called La Truffière. La Truffière was once a truffle orchard, but a rigorous soil analysis determined that Syrah would be well suited to this terroir.
Though Boutinot has many wines and labels they are involved in producing, what surprises many is that only one, small range carries the name Boutinot. It’s a small Domaine in the village of Cairanne in the Southern Rhone, the place that is considered the true home of Boutinot.
The vineyards of Cairanne are either in the plain on the broad valley floor or in the hills above the village overlooking the landmark church. All of Boutinot’s estate vineyards are on the hillside slopes of La Montée du Ventabren overlooking the church of Notre Dame de la Vigne et du Rosaire.