Domaine Santa Duc was founded in Gigondas 1874 and has been passed down through four generations. (Interestingly, the name Santa Duc is a reference to a spectacular species of owl which can be seen in the area). Yves Gras, who is a charming, handsome and completely hands-on oenologist and the brains and talent behind this operation, took over from his father in 1985. He is one of the great characters of the region and is renowned for producing wines which are powerful evocations of the local terroir.
In Southern France, the scrubland habitat of the dry calcareous plateaux adjacent to the Mediterranean is known as 'garrigue'. The intense aromas of native shrubs such as lavender, rosemary, sage, and thyme are an omnipresent feature of the garrigue landscape, and wines which are infused with these native aromas are highly prized for their typicity. (The soil of the garrigue is quite literally 'infused' - all of the above-mentioned shrubs exude aromatic oils which leach into the earth as well settling on the vines and grapes).
The wines of Yves Gras always demonstrate an immediately recognizable expression of the garrigue combined with a distinctive minerality from the sun-baked rocky soil. The grapes are farmed organically and harvested by hand, followed with a long maceration for several weeks and aging 18 months in casks. Gigondas is one of the greatest values from the Rhône and Santa Duc produces outstanding examples that are not to be missed!