Often times during our Vineyard and Winery tours, we experience awe and wonder- from discovering a new, perfectly harmonious pairing of wine and cheese to a peaceful moment ambling through the gnarled vines and marveling at the fact that they have produced world-class wine for over a century. Nestled in the northern slope of the Alpilles mountains, between Saint-Rémy de Provence and Eygalières, we have discovered an underground masterpiece that not only induces awe and wonder among its visitors, but inspires pure reverence. Chateau Romanin is one of Provence’s unique gems.
Turning west out of St. Rémy, the drive up to Château Romanin in and of itself is worth the trip. The mile long stretch of road leading from the D99 is dotted with vineyards, olive groves, and rustic barns. As you climb further up the road, you will find yourself stopping every 30 seconds to take in the increasingly beautiful panoramic views of the valley below.
Carved deep into the rock face, the unassuming facade can easily cause the uninformed to pass right by, because virtually 100% of this winery is underground. Situated on the ruins of a 13th century castle for the Knights Templar, Romanin is defined as a child blessed by the Gods and when stepping into this château’s wine cellar, you will feel blessed by the heavens too. With sweeping natural rock ceilings, soaring columns, and curving arches, the cellar is exactly what one imagines Bacchus would have created for his own personal wine cellar. The sheer size of the space can be distorting the first time visiting. The 3000-liter barrels, normally taller than the average human, look almost minuscule against the backdrop of the 5-story high ceilings.
If the visual beauty of Romanin is a feast for the eyes, then the wines are an equally impressive feast for the taste buds. As one of the first wineries in the region to become 100% bio-dynamic, Romanin is focused on producing wine the is a perfect representation of the local terroir. Featuring whites, reds, and rosés, Romanin’s wines are AOC certified in both the Aix-en-Provence and Les Baux de Provence appellations. Their reserve red wine, Le Coeur de Romanin (The Heart of Romanin) is a selection of the vineyards best grapes that produces a rich and jammy flavor that is characteristic of the region. With limited production of this wine each year, make sure to get your hands on a bottle or two before they are all gone.