The story begins when the grandfather of the Milan family acquired the estate. It is in this house that his family settles. On the advice of his neighbours and the inhabitants of the village, he plants vines. In the beginning, the grapes are harvested and then sold to be worked by other winegrowers.
In 1986, Henri, the son, took over and decided to set up a winery with the ambition to "produce wines that don't hurt your head".
He decides to go and meet Burgundian winemakers who have taken the plunge and learn from them. He then met Claude Courtois, a former winegrower in the Aix region and one of the leaders of the movement. Henri then invites him to examine his land and to study the possibilities of switching to biodynamics.
Self-taught by nature and thanks to his meeting with Claude, Henri launches and perseveres in biodynamics. Thus in 2000 he releases his first vintage without added sulphur with a lot of pride!
As with any winemaking adventure, Henri Milan also had his low points, but this did not change his determination to design the wines as he wanted them to be.
Our Coup de Coeur cuvées from Domaine Milan :
In 2002, Henri was joined by his son, Théophile, who was initially present in the sales team. He took part in the winemaking process little by little with the values that his father instilled in him and this way of working that he keeps preciously.
He is accompanied by his wife who helps manage the estate. A former sommelier in New York, she is attracted to biodynamics, she even wrote her thesis on it in 1980.
Since 2011, Théophile has been developing his own vintages with his own vision, he will take over the reins of the domain in a very short time!
It is with this aim in mind that he has surrounded himself with a young and dynamic team like Sébastien Xavier, his cellar master, with whom he has developed the 100% Grenache cuvée and who manages most of the cellar!
The estate is located at the foot of the Alpilles, straddling 2 communes: 15 hectares in the commune of Saint Rémy en Provence and 5 others in the commune of Eyragues. Its terroir is composed mainly of clay and limestone but there are also blue marls (as in Chablis) which are ideal for the production of its whites and which give exceptional wines for ageing. It manages to maintain excellent acidity despite the hot, dry Mediterranean climate.
Unlike his winegrowing neighbours, Théophile produces more whites and reds (40% of each colour) than rosé. His difference is also noticeable by his way of vinification, this one is more authentic, he does not try to bring his wines into the standards that we know.
Ugny and clairette are not among the grape varieties used although they are very popular in Provence. Instead, grenache, vermentino, marsanne, roussanne, chardonnay, bourboulenc, muscat or pinot gris bring this typicity to its wines.
For the reds he has turned to Grenache, Syrah, the emblematic grape varieties of the Rhone Valley, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (which flourishes on blue clays) and Pinot Noir. This grape variety, atypical for the region, was planted by Henri Milan because of his nickname "Le bourguignon de Provence"! Pinot, which strongly resembles Grenache, is very popular on this clay soil !
The soil is worked with the help of horses, which helps the young vines to take root deeper without brushing the soil.
Théophile, always on the lookout for new experiments, has planned to plant one hectare with the grape varieties macabeu, savagnin, grenache gris, chardonnay and chenin! A real bet!
The work of the vineyard follows the codes of biodynamics however the domain has not started the steps for the certification. Indeed, Théophile prefers to work the grapes as he wishes, remaining faithful to the vision of the family estate.
Find the wines of the domain here
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