There is a sense of focus and implicity at Domaine du Cayron. "I make one wine," says Michel Faraud. There are no cuvees reserves, no declassified Cotes du Rhone, only Gigondas. Happily, Faraud's years of conservatism have paid off. His wine is one of the most loved Gigondas on the market. When frosts in 1956 destroyed many of Faraud's olive trees (Gigondas was once planted almost entirely to olives) the family decided to start from scratch and plant vines from which the Domaine takes its name. Today their vineyard plots are scattered throughout the Gigondas appellation, the best vines being in the Col du Cayron, 1500 feet above sea level, nestled into the spiky Dentelles mountains, a site which produces low yields and rich fruit.
Michel learned to make wine from his father, and he remains faithful to this old-world style, even if it means foregoing modern winery conveniences or ignoring trends of the market. "It's our wine, not theirs," says Michel. And the wines of the region are changing. "With all the new oak barrels, you can't even tell that it's Gigondas." One of his beliefs is to age his wine a couple of years in giant old oak foudres. So while other Gigondas producers are bottling and selling their current vintage, Faraud's wine still has another year to mature and develop.
After harvest, the must soaks 15 days on its skin to gain color and extract. Michel's wife and three daughters, one of whom has a degree in viticulture and enology, all help in the vineyards.