Welcome to the Rhône Valley

An Introduction to Domaine Fontavin

The Vaucluse is a land where viticulture is omnipresent, partly because of a vine tradition that is largely part of our history. Originally, the vine was introduced by the Phoenicians in 600 BC, but it was the Romans who would expand this cultivation throughout the Rhône Valley. The presence of the river in the direct vicinity was an advantage for trade, especially with Italy, which at that time was very fond of wine from Provence. The Italian fervour for these wines has called into question the quality of certain productions such as Campania on the outskirts of Naples. The Roman emperor of the time (DOMITIAN), ordered that all the vines in the Rhône valley, and in particular those in the Vaucluse, be uprooted. Nevertheless, it was a beneficial action, in fact when the vineyards of the plains disappeared, the vineyards located on the hillsides saw progress, the latter were of much better quality. Unfortunately, the barbaric invasions were almost fatal to the Vaucluse vineyards, only a few vines were sporadically cultivated by a few Gauls, at the time sheltered in oppida (old Gallic fortifications). This is enough to perpetuate the tradition for nearly half a millennium. It was therefore five centuries later (around the 6th century), and thanks to the religious, that the vineyards regained their importance in the Vaucluse region, both in terms of quality and quantity. In the 8th century, Pope Gregory X bought Comtat Venaissin from the King of France, and a period of stability was established for wine production in the Comtat, which lasted five centuries.