Seldom promoted by the big cooperative wineries that favored quantity over quality, the wines of the southern Côtes-du-Rhône have long been overlooked. It was not until the 1980s and 1990s that a handful of independent winemakers - such as Philippe Laurent and Michèle Aubéry-Laurent at Domaine Gramenon - began to take a more demanding approach, both in the work of the vines and in the winemaking process, thus giving new meaning to the different terroirs of this vast region.
Created in 1978 in Montbrison-sur-Lez, in the Drôme Provençale, by Philippe Laurent (who died in 1999) and Michèle Aubéry-Laurent, Domaine Gramenon is a true pioneer in the southern Côtes-du-Rhône. From the outset, they chose to cultivate their vines without chemical treatments and to make wine without oenological inputs (except possibly a minimal dose of added sulfur), in the same philosophy as that developed by Jules Chauvet and Marcel Lapierre in the Beaujolais. From its 12 hectares in the beginning - with a siginificant amount of old vines (some very old) - the vineyard has progressively increased to 26 hectares, notably with parcels in Vinsobres (1999), and then in Valréas (2007) when their son, Maxime-François (who has a small trading activity at the same time), arrived on the estate. At the same time, the organic farmining evolved in the 2000s towards biodynamics. Mostly planted with Grenache and Syrah, on clay-limestone soils, the vines offer a remarkable palette of natural wines with varied expressions and nuances due to the singularity of each micro-terroir: the perfect reflection of the richness of the Rhone Valley.