Guigal has acquired Château d’Aqueria for an undisclosed fee in a deal that adds to a sense of fresh dynamism in the historic vineyards of Tavel, a rosé-only appellation that lies on the west bank of the Rhône river in southern France.
Marcel Guigal, son of Guigal domaine founder Etienne, said, ‘Our family is delighted to join the Tavel appellation and to participate in the promotion of this great gastronomic rosé.’
The purchase puts the Guigal family’s commitment to the appellation on a new footing, after Etienne Guigal first began selecting and blending Tavel wines from the 1942 vintage.
D’Aqueria has ‘exceptional vineyards’, with 68 hectares under vine on its 98-hectare estate, the family said.
Philippe Guigal, son of Marcel, added, ‘Our first project, working with the team in situ, will be to convert the winegrowing methods to organic viticulture.’
Both Marcel and Philippe Guigal said they were also enthusiastic about joining the Lirac appellation, with d’Aqueria producing red and white Lirac wines.
Château d’Aqueria’s story began in 1595, when Louis Joseph d’Aqueria bought an area of Tavel known as ‘Puy Sablonneux’ from the monks at Villeneuve les Avignon abbey.
Fast-forward to the 20th century and the estate was bought in 1919 by Jean Olivier, who passed it to his daughters. His son-in-law, Paul de Bastier de Bez, took on management of the property and operations were until recently overseen by his grandsons, Vincent and Bruno.
Guigal’s arrival broadens its reach in the southern Rhône, after it bought Château de Nalys in Châteauneuf-du-Pape five years ago.
Back in northern Rhône, Guigal also said last year that it will add a fourth single-vineyard Côte Rôtie, named La Reynarde, to its line-up. It will join existing wines La Mouline, La Turque and La Landonne, a prestigious trio known collectively as the ‘La-Las’.