Domaine de la Mongestine
Owner: Harry & Céline Gozlan
Winemaker: Maxime Gamard
Vineyard area: 35ha
Vineyard management: Certified organic since 2012, Demeter certified biodynamic since 2022
Soils: Clay and limestone
Grapes grown: Grenache Noir, Syrah, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Marselan, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, Roussanne
Annual production: 200,000 bottles
- The domaine has a diverse array of microclimates within the estate, allowing them to grow a wide range grape varieties, including several not commonly seen in Provence.
- “Singlar” is the local Provençale dialect for “sanglier,” or “boar.” One year, a particular boar was extremely fond of raiding the vineyards at harvest to munch on the ripe grapes–they named him “Bob,” and he became the namesake of the “Bob Singlar” wines.
- The full estate is 120ha, most of which is forest surrounding the 35ha of vineyards.
Harry & Céline Gozlan acquired Domaine de la Mongestine in 2017, and transitioned the domaine in a new direction: while it was already certified organic, they began the process to obtain biodynamic certification (completed in 2022), and implemented natural winemaking methods. The use of biodynamic preparations helps to reinforce the natural vigor of the vine to resist threats such as fungal disease and drought, while allowing the domaine to limit their applications of copper and sulfur in the vineyard. Harvesting healthy grapes with a lively population of native yeasts allows them to proceed with a natural fermentation with no additives except a minimal amount of sulfur at bottling as needed. The goal is to eliminate the need for chemicals and manipulation through thoughtful, precise work.
In the heart of the region of Provence-Verdon, near the village of Artigues (just south of Aix-en-Provence), the domaine extends along a long hillside, surrounded by forests, up to 450m of elevation. The altitude couples with the northern exposure to create a microclimate unique in Provence. In the summer, the nights are cool, and the days are sunny and hot. The winters are cold and harsh. This creates a climate almost more “northern” than “southern.” Therefore, the grape varieties planted are very diverse, including typical southern grapes (Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Vermentino, Grenache Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon) as well as grapes not commonly grown in this area (Roussanne, Pinot Noir). The calcareous clay soils vary along the hillside–at the base of the hill, the soil has a higher clay content and retains more water; towards the top of the slope, it becomes drier and more gravelly. The forest along the border of the property provides shade, creating cooler microclimates, ideal for Pinot Noir. This diversity of grapes, exposure, and terroir within the domaine itself means the estate is able to create a number of cuvées, each with their own unique identity. The “Les Monges” wines are designed as an expression of the Provençale terroir, while the “Bob Singlar” wines are born of a desire to “break the rules” and create something surprising.