The story begins at the beginning of the 19th century with a small vineyard and two very enthusiastic growers - Louis-Jacques CLARON and his son Jacques-Louis on the road into Vallon Pont d’Arc in a locality called “La Tannerie”. The vines are well exposed. The work is tough and the wine is rough!
It was their son and then their grandson, Louis Claron, an agricultural engineer and researcher/lecturer at Ecole Nationale d’Agriculture in Montpellier who extended the Domaine du Colombier up until 1896 by adding the "Merle Valladier" to the "Mas Neuf" estate.
At that time Louis Claron built the Domaine du Colombier wine cellar which was finished in 1900. Since then the cellar has remained unchanged except for some technical installations inside.
When he died, just after WW1, his oldest daughter, Aline Walbaum, took over the management of the estate. Her sons, Patrice and Christian, rejuvenated the vines by planting recommended “Vinifera” varieties such as Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault. By the end of the Sixties, the vineyard covered over 50 hectares.
The difficulties of the wine market did not discourage them! On the contrary, they reorientated their production to improve the quality.
Christian cofounded the Fédération des Caves Particulières de l'Ardèche.
At the beginning of the Eighties, their sons, Philippe and Alain Walbaum, continued this approach by adding Syrah, Merlot and White Viognier vines.
Philippe inaugurated direct sales and “Estate Bottling”. His love of the area, the site and the vineyard, encouraged him to open a visitors’ reception space in the century-old cellar buildings. He also became the President of the Fédération des Caves Particulières de l'Ardèche.
Philippe handed on the estate to his son Ludovic in the 2000s. Ludovic does everything possible to ensure the family heritage will continue through time.
His unending quest for excellence and quality means that he harmoniously combines state of the art winemaking technologies with traditional methods to develop, year after year, wines that can be laid down.
He is also developing the estate through investments in the restoration and modernization of the wine storehouse and also the tasting cellar to ensure warm, friendly and truly exceptional moments to visitors.
Ludovic is the 7th generation of this vine growing and wine making family.
Perhaps his children will add their stone to the edifice... Heirs to a passion...
The spirit of the Domaine du Colombier is rooted in our know-how, transmitted from generation to generation, the respect of our estate through close observation of nature, the protection and enrichment of our land and the respect of our vines as well as the history of the site. All transmit and maintain our unspoiled authenticity.
These are the values we defend and with which we will face the future.
We are committed to respecting the environment through integrated farm management.
We preserve the woods around the vines to maintain a unique ecosystem, protected with passion.
Our winemaking equipment respects our vines and grapes to transmit the authenticity of our vine varieties and soil to our wines.
This logo symbolizes the business approach of independent winemakers...
It means that this wine is the result of the work of a winemaker making wine in a private cellar and who has signed the Independent Winemaker Charter:
"This winemaker undertakes to:
respect their land,
work their own vines,
pick their own grapes,
make and blend their own wines,
distil their own liqueurs,
bottle their wines in their own cellars,
sell and market their wines and liquors themselves,
host and advise visitors and clients in tasting sessions transmit their enjoyment of their wines and explain how they are made."