Like many of this region’s villages, Beaumes de Venise has been producing wine since Roman times but is unique for the production of ‘vin doux naturel’ or sweet fortified wine. Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) wrote: “Muscat has been grown for a long time in Balme and makes wonderful wine.” Since then the story of Muscat de Beaumes continued to be told: the home of Muscat was supplier to Pope Clement V in Avignon and then the entire kingdom’s nobility, including Henry IV who had a taste for Muscat.
A family estate for five generations, we still have one bottle of 1847 Muscat that demonstrates just how old it is. We started making wine at the beginning of the 19th Century at Domaine des Bernardins. The property was previously owned by Bernardin monks before being transformed into a wine estate. Mr Louis Castaud was the first one to show real concern about how the village’s traditional production had almost disappeared and achieved appellation status for Muscat de Beaumes de Venise in 1945 after 10 years of hard work. His family were able to make Domaine des Bernardins thrive by combining know-how and traditional values. Today his daughter Renée Castaud is still active in day-to-day life at the estate. His granddaughter Elisabeth, her husband Andrew Hall and their son Romain now make this wine that’s part of the family history.
For your delectation, our wine has matured over the changing seasons. It has its own particular style. Its warmth, sapidity and bouquet are enchanting. It elegantly exudes captivating charm, yielding a sweet and harmonious mouth-feel. Then the wine displays all its roundness wonderfully like a peacock’s tail. Its velvety mellowness slips down unctuously as you swallow, then bestows a warm and sensual caress. Wonderful length.
Louis Castaud, founder of AOC Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, father and grandfather of the current owners.