Memories and archives
Over the last 140 years, five generations of winemakers have succeeded in pursuing the long family tradition. Joseph Roche, born in 1840, took over his father’s trade. The business was booming but this successful trader missed the production part.
The Domaine de la Grave
Finally, in 1876, his dream come true. Joseph bought a Chartreuse; it was the heart of a 4 hectares’ property which was producing a very good wine. The Chartreuse was renamed Domaine de la Grave in reference to its white gravel steep slopes which are still the promise of an exceptional terroir.
As a symbol of gentrification, the house was surrounded by two towers with slate roofs to give it the appearance of a “Chateau”. The bell testifies a pious past but, now, it punctuates the various tasks of the vineyard instead being a reminder of once religious duties.
A crucial step: the cooperage
One of his sons, André ROCHE, served his apprenticeship as a cooper on a neighboring town while supporting the family at the Domaine. There he met the cooper’s daughter whom he married and later he carefully kept the cooper’s tools, still in display in our museum.
At the death of Joseph in 1910, André took over the estate. He had three children: Pierre, Yvonne and Joseph who assisted him at the stages of the production. Pierre Roche had the firm intention to carry on the Domaine de la Grave alongside his father. The latter disappeared in 1956.
Pierre had a considerable know-how which was precious to the Roche family. The fidelity passed through generations. However, Pierre finally restricted his activities because he was uncertain about who would take over from him.
Fortunately, his nephew Francois made Pierre’s dream come true by pursuing the family work.
The Domaine de la Grave on a good track
His eldest son David is actively involved on the Domain. He had a wine-making training that now allows him to prepare the Domain for the future. When his Uncle Pierre died in 1998, he significantly boosted the growth of planted areas and the commercial network too.
As the property extended, father and son competed with ambitious ideas to promote their production. In 2003, they inaugurated the Wine and Cooperage Museum.
Quick commercial results have been achieved and a lot of distinctions have been earned: 5 nominations for the first 5 editions of the Best of Wine Tourism contest in the category “Art and Culture” which rewards the best tourist sites of the wine world.
What an honor for us to compete with the best Bordeaux’s wineries such as: Pichon Longueville, Lynch Bages, Giscours and Kirwan. For 20 years, François has accompanied David’s efforts to modernize and diversify the attractive features of this authentic exploitation. Today the adventure is far from over. Marie-Laure and David Roche, the 5th generation, pay tribute to the past while looking towards the future to add their contribution to the Domain.