Although the Domaine Richeaume estate is located at the foot of Mount Sainte-Victoire among the same landscapes which inspired the artist Paul Cézanne, its history started many miles away. Years ago Henning Hoesch, a professor of Canon Law at Yale University in the US, gradually became aware of how nature is sacrificed in the name of progress, a realization which led him to undergo a personal process and eventually brought him to Europe in 1972 in the search for the ideal place to develop traditional agriculture.
Hoesch bought the 65 hectares of Domaine Richeaume and immediately introduced a holistic focus to agriculture there, including sustainable organic vine-growing and the production of natural wine. Despite having to learn wine-making methods almost from scratch, he swiftly became recognized as a pioneer of ‘organic agriculture’ and a talented vigneron, or winemaker.
Henning Hoesch and his wife focused their work on creating red wine, unlike other wineries in Provence, to the extent that they do not produce rosé wines, the kind the area is famous for. At present, the winery is run by their son, Sylvain Hoesch, and is well-known for its terroir wines produced using natural local yeast, a concept more commonly developed with red wines as there is more contact with the grape skins.
Domaine Richeaume decided to work outside the limits set by the AOC Côtes de Provence appellation when they realized their work would have to follow too many regulations. This freedom has allowed them to develop more creative blends and use different production methods to suit their aims. The excellent results have proved them right.