Domaine La Suffrène is a family-owned and cross-generation estate, which is owned by Fortuné piche and his grandson, Cédric Gravier, is located in perhaps one of the oldest protected designation in France Bandol where was officially approved in 1941. The total area of the winery is 50 hectares with varied type of soils on limestone base.
The domain is exclusively situated at the top of hill with calcareous sandstone soil, where is called “Les Lauves” derived from flat stone, the elevation is roughly 300 metres above sea level with influences by Mediterranean Sea and Mistral winds. All of which factors offer proper humidity, diurnal range and disease-free growing area that result in age-worthy wines. Such a calcareous soil and those factors give rise to Bandol, an acclaimed sub-region in Provence, where is well-known, and stands out with plantation of foremost variety, Mourvèdre. This variety is long-lived with exceptional quality which is due to strict regulations on several aspects including low yield, manual harvest, a meticulous grape selection in its geologically fragmented, hilly site and distinctive goblet training that requires labour-intensive works.
The cross-generation winery owns 70-year-old Carignan and 50-year-old Mourvèdre vines. Although it has been organic farming several years, it will be organic certified by relevant authorities in 2021.
After rigorous grape sorting and destemming has taken placed, the fruit for Rosé production is then crushed with a short period of skin contact for its vivid colour. Once the skin contact has been carried out, must is then pressed and settled in thermo-controlled vats for 2 day. After that, the clear juice is cold fermented for 10-12 days.
As for its red wine, grapes are partial de-stemmed up to 85%, and co-fermented in oak only if grapes are fully matured. The reason why the wine maker prefers co-fermentation in large oak foudres with prohibited malolactic fermentation is because it contributes dissimilarity between parcels and retained freshness.
Not only the winery produces phenomenal wines but also it aims to be environmentally sustainable, which it attentively adopts organic farming with relevant eco-friendly viticultural practices. In 2018, the estate has issued its conversion process, and eventually, can be officially labelled with organic certification.