Château de Pibarnon is a leading wine estate in the Bandol appellation of southern France. It is highly rated by many critics and generally regarded as one of the better producers in all of Provence region which, aside from the ubiquitous rosés, is also known for its red wines based on the Mourvèdre grape.
The estate was founded with around 3.5 hectares (8 acres) of Mourvèdre vineyard in the 1950s. Since 1978, the estate has been owned and run by the de Saint Victor family, who set about planting another six hectares (15 acres), rebuilding the farmhouse and extending the winemaking facilities.
In 1992, to meet increased demand, a spectacular natural amphitheatre near the cellar was purchased, cleared and planted to vines.
Today, Château de Pibarnon has around 50 hectares (124 acres) of vineyard. Soils combine fossil-rich limestone with clay and blue marl soils similar to the top estates of Pomerol.
These vineyards are at sufficient altitude to extend the ripening period of the grapes, which helps with the retention of acidity – a vital aspect of wine quality.
Pibarnon’s flagship wine is a Mourvèdre – Grenache blend, aged for 18 months in oak casks. The estate also makes a rosé known for its savory character from Mourvèdre and Cinsaut, and a white wine combining Clairette, Bourboulenc, and a range of other local varieties grown in cooler sites.
Château de Pibarnon’s second wine is called Les Restanques, and there is also an ageworthy “grand rosé” called Nuances, which is aged in a mix of oak casks and clay amphorae.