La Domitienne lies along the southern French coast with a beautiful view of the Mediterranean and all the advantages of being in a maritime climate. It is named after an ancient road, Via Domitian, which was the line of demarcation between who ruled the north and who ruled the south back in Roman times.
The story of the area in Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert where La Domitienne is located is quite colorful. It was founded in an unpopulated area, as the name "desert" implies, upon which a monastery was built that survives to this day. The winery is now owned by the Bonfils family who own vineyards in Picpoul, Minervois and Corbieres.
Even with all this history, one of the most significant phrases on the label is "Vielles Vignes." It means "old vines" and though there are no restrictions on the term, it is generally accepted that it means vines that have reached 30-40 years of age and many up to 100. This condition is important because as the vine becomes settled in its atmosphere, it literally becomes more at one with the soil. That synergy brings the needed nutrients through the roots and into the branches, supplying just what is needed to make the grapes perfect.
These old-growth vines are necessary especially with Carignan, which on young vines can be rather harsh and tannic. On a mature vine, Carignan produces an amazing wine with ripe cherry and plum expanded by aging in oak barrels and provides the necessary elements to match the foods of Provence like grilled meats, game and hearty stews.