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Domaine Houillon

What happens when the world of an academic (a translator of ancient Ethiopian manuscripts, no less) turned draft horse trainer collides with the trainee of one of the most incredible natural winemakers we’ve ever seen? Well, that’s Charlotte & Aurélien Houillon’s story, and their wines are as magical as you’d expect. They settled in the Faucon, Vaucluse, far away from where they met (Switzerland) because they fell in love with a property: one with its own ecosystem and old vines. There, they combine their biodynamic know-how with Jura natural winemaking techniques to create unparalleled wines of the southern Rhône.

People:  Charlotte (née Touati) & Aurélien Houillon

Place:  Faucon, Vaucluse, southern Rhône

Varieties:  Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault & Bourboulenc

Hectares:  10 - six of which are heathland and forest, and four of which are planted to vines

Farming:  Organic with biodynamic methods

Wines:  Click here

Did You Know? The couple are dedicated to preserving their old vines, and only work with massal selection vines for replanting (the process whereby a vineyard is planted via propagating the plant material of several mother plants, as opposed to a single clone, thereby preserving genetic heritage) and to do this, they work with the iconic vine nursery, Lilian Bérillon. In a similar vein, their donkey and horse are also rare breeds at risk of extinction: their goal is to preserve genetic diversity and heritage.

"By working organically, our daughter gets to discover all the insects. She notices all the different times of ladybugs, snails, spiders...It’s very enriching for her, as she can discover nature. And that’s the foundation of it all, really — we’re not alone here on Earth. It’s not just human beings..."

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