Herve Souhaut / Romaneaux-Destezet
Owner & winemaker: Béatrice et Hervé Souhaut
Vineyards: 13ha across 13 parcels–10ha estate-owned, 3ha rented
Grapes grown: Syrah, Gamay, Viognier, Roussanne
Annual production: 50,000 bottles
- Having learned from pioneers such as Philippe Pacalet (nephew of Marcel Lapierre), Jacques Néauport, René-Jean Dard, and François Ribo in the early 1990s, Hervé Souhaut has since become a natural wine legend in his own right.
- He gained his reputation by creating delicate, crystalline, almost “Burgundian” wines in a region known for power and extraction.
- “My holy grail? Purity. In a wine, one must feel the terroir, in the full sense of the term. The differences, the singularities, the identity must be expressed!” – Hervé Souhaut
Hervé Souhaut never expected to become a winemaker–in fact, he grew up in Paris in a family of veterinarians. It was a chance encounter with followers of natural wine legends Marcel Lapierre and Jules Chauvet that set him on his current path. In 1993, after completing a stage with Dard & Ribo (part of the first generation of dedicated sans-soufre winemakers in the early 90s), Hervé and his wife Béatrice created their own domaine, Romaneaux-Destezet, on land owned by Béatrice’s family near the village of Arlebosc. They’ve since added to their own plantings of Syrah, Gamay, Viognier, and Roussanne with two spectacular old-vine sites just across from the hills of Hermitage: Sainte-Épine, acquired from a woman they befriended in the village back in the 90s; and Clos des Cessieux, a vineyard owned by Béatrice’s grandfather. Today, his “crus” are highly sought after, each intended to offer a snapshot of the place and the vintage, with the recognizable Souhaut energy and purity as a throughline.