Domaine la Manarine was created by Gilles Gasq in April 2001. The winery and majority of his vineyards are located within the commune of Travaillan, on a splendid plateau northeast of Orange in the southern Rhone. Gilles is a talented vigneron who has honed his skills working as an assistant to Paul Jeune, the proprietor of Domaine Monpertuis in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Expanding his holdings each year, Domaine La Manarine now encompasses 33 hectares of vineyards situated largely on what is known as the “Le Plan de Dieu”. For generations, this specific terroir has been recognized as unique. Recent research has identified the particular character of the underlying soil: a deep layer consisting of more than 60% hard limestone “galets” (large smooth pebbles). The climate is typically Mediterranean: relatively hot and dry with an average rainfall of between 600 and 800 mm per year. The rains usually come in the form of thunderstorms in late August which provide the vines with the water necessary to finish the maturation process (which tends to shut down under stressful drought conditions). Grenache Noir is the main grape variety of the region. It performs particularly well on this type of soil and gives wines more elegance and aroma than is otherwise common. Gilles also has one hectare of Syrah vines which are used to supplement the Grenache in the “Les Terres Saintes” enabling it to bear the appellation: Cotes du Rhone Villages – Le Plan de Dieu.
The vineyards are principally devoted to Grenache but include several parcels planted to white grape varieties Clairette, Bourboulenc, and Grenache Blanc (recently planted) which are used to make his Cotes du Rhone Blanc. In 2014, Gasq purchased a 3 hectares parcel of Carignan adjacent to one of his Cotes du Rhone parcels to make a special cuvee devoted to this underestimated varietal.