Although the history of Hermitage wines started to write itself during antiquity in the heart of the Rhône Valley, it wasn’t until the 13th century that this illustrious reference was born at the top of a hill. There, in 1224, Gaspard de Stérimberg, a knight of Blanche de Castille, returned from a crusade. Tired of the violence and conquest he had experienced all his life, he settled at the top of this hill to retire from society and found his hermitage. Over time, a community joined him and the whole group worked to plant and cultivate vines.
In 1937, an appellation system was set up to protect the name and reputation of Hermitage wines. Today, the Hermitage AOC covers 136 hectares shared between the communes of Crozes-l'Hermitage, Larnage and Tain-l'Hermitage, in the heart of the Rhône Valley.
Hermitage wines are adored throughout the world because they stem from terroirs that enjoy a fascinating geology and climatology. The vines of the Hermitage appellation benefit from a mild Mediterranean climate which allows the grapes to ripen slowly over the seasons. In addition, the various vineyards are planted on granitic arenas covered with mica schists and gneiss, with alluvial pebbles, granite, limestone, silica, pebbles and clay.
This beautiful combination between a mild climate and rich soils enables the estates to offer a whole range of wines that boast an array of nuances according to the styles of the leading producers of the AOC such as Jaboulet or Chapoutier. Generally speaking, the style of Hermitage wines is distinctive.
Hermitage red wines are made from Syrah, Roussanne and Marsanne. The work on these grape varieties offers wines with a very intense colour that evolves towards orange tones over time. The nose is notably marked by a powerful and fine expression. Red fruits, spices and animal notes come together. On the palate, the aromatic bouquet is transposed into a style that is powerful, round and supple, evolving towards a more harmonious and fine expression with age.
The white wines of Hermitage are notably praised for their beautifully clear colour with subtle green hues, as well as the pleasant and harmonious floral aromas that emerge, underlined by honeyed and toasted notes. Slightly defined by their acidity, these white wines have a very ample and full character. These smooth wines develop fruity, floral, creamy and honeyed aromas and are unique in the French wine scene.