The first building dates from 1874. That’s how it started and has continued already through four generations. The present “patron” Yves, son of Edmond Gras, has taken over the domaine 25 years ago, and runs it together with his wife. It was also Yves, who bottled the firs Gigondas wine of Santa Duc.
Yves cares extremely for his vineyards. He observes them, even listens to them and has enriched the vineyards mainly being covered with Grenache before, by planting Syrah, and last not least Mourvèdre with its “serious” and dark grapes, which share their unique tannins with any wine they come into contact with.
His enthusiasm and patience focuses on a balance between wine and grapes.
Immediately the question arose, how to optimise processing the crop, the quality of which had to be augmented every year: optimum ripening, picking, transportation of the grapes, vinification and appropriate ageing of the wine. Surely, Yves has found the right answers to push his products up to the top of Gigondas wines.
“For more than a decennium Santa Duc has been one of the flagships of Gigondas wines. Could it be that Santa Duc is the best domaine of the appellation? Whatever it is, when referring to my notes of tasting, Santa Duc combines power, richness and zest of a classic Gigondas with elegance and structure, which quit a few of the appellation lack.”
Nevertheless, Yves does not rest on his laurels, he has merited at Gigondas. Being driven by an insatiable curiosity, he is extending his activities into different areas in the Rhone Valley, which as he believes may bare similar high potential for great wines like Gigondas.
"At Santa Duc, Yves is more respected for his Gigondas wines than for those from Roaix. He likes the challenge and therefore he has made up his mind several years ago to show this unappreciated terroir neighbouring Rasteau in its true colours. He may be ahead of a continuing warming up of the climate, as the vineyards of Roaix are oriented to the north and east and produce fresh wines with an acid accentuation. “ Revue du Vin de France
Nowadays, Santa Duc coveres about 26 hectares of vineyards, the largest part of which on the “Terrasses des Haute Garrigues” and the hill slopes north of Gigondas close to the little village of Sablet. Besides the wines from Gigondas, Santa Duc also produces Côtes du Rhône and wines from Sablet, Cairanne, Rasteau and Roaix.
95% of the wines are exported, and the delicious bottles from Gigondas frequently travel far – Singapore, China, Australia…