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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Thursday, March 18 2021

Ventoux, the Crossroads of the Rhône

By: Anthony Gismondi
A masterclass with Frédéric Chaudière of Château Pesquié

Frédéric Chaudière is a regular visitor to the west coast.

It's always a pleasure to taste his wines, which have become ambassadors for the fast-growing quality and reputation of the Ventoux. Château Pesquié has been sold in Canada for more than a decade. Still, Chaudière is on a mission to expand its reach and to introduce a series of stunning, single-vineyard wines that further delineate the story of the extraordinary family property.

Chaudière's path to wine is inspiring in the face of today's "slap some juice in a bottle and shamelessly flog it as if it was a Grand Cru". The Pesquié history is the story of two families passionate about their wine region, Ventoux. In the early 1970s, Odette & René Bastide bought Château Pesquié from an heir of a famous Provençal writer, Alphonse Daudet. By the mid-1980s, Edith & Paul Chaudière, René & Odette's daughter, and son-in-law gave up their medical careers and took over the family estate. They studied at the "Université du Vin" in Suze-La-Rousse, where they prepared a thesis on "Terroir Selection" based on travels that took them to Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Oregon, Burgundy, Piedmont, Rioja and more.

The Chaudière side of the family has been growing vines for the past 150 years, beginning in Algeria after they emigrated from Alsace when it temporarily became a German territory in 1871. Paul, Edith, René & Odette left the local cooperative to set up Château Pesquié in 1989, releasing their first wines in 1990. There were only ten independent cellars in the Ventoux making the Chaudières pioneers of a sort in those days.

In 2003, Alexandre and Frédéric took over the domain from their parents Paul and Edith. Together the family tradition continues. The sons have gone from sustainable to organic grape growers and are on the cusp of being fully certified Demeter biodynamic, enhancing Château Pesquié's allure as a leading estate in Ventoux and the southern Rhône Valley.

We caught up with Frédéric, appropriately distanced for COVID 19, in this case, at 8,500 kilometres apart. We spoke to him about his native Ventoux, his wines, family, and future at Château Pesquié.

Written By: ag
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. For 30 years he has been the wine columnist for The Vancouver Sun. His twice-weekly column is distributed across Canada through Postmedia Network to 10 million readers. Anthony co-hosts the 20-year-strong BC Food & Wine Radio Show, which is broadcast in seven markets in B.C. and available online everywhere on iHeartRadio.ca. He launched Gismondionwine.com in 1997, attracting one million users a month from 114 countries. It continues to be a valuable resource of full tasting notes and intelligent wine stories and videos for the trade and consumers.