There are twenty-eight hectares of vineyards at Château Valcombe, which is situated at an altitude of 1,000 feet and in the shadow of Mont Ventoux. Four red grape varieties (Syrah, Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault) and four white grape varieties (Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Bourboulenc) are planted, and the average age of the vines is 50 years (as of 2011). Certain parcels of Carignan and Grenache were planted in 1936 (making them 75 years old as of 2011). The soils are essentially limestone and are covered with the famous “galets” of that area, large round rocks worn smooth by the movement of the Rhone River. Deep in the subsoil of Valcombe one also finds the unusual blue-inflected clay, bleu argile, that helps define the unique characteristics of the wines of Château Valcombe. Leaf removal, destemming are performed manually and there is no pollarding of the vines. The harvest here is exclusively by hand with a strict sorting occurring in the vineyard.
Chateau Valcombe is in the process of receiving Organic Certification (ECOCERT).
Rosenthal started working with Château Valcombe in 2000, when their Châteauneuf-du-Pape producer, Paul Jeune of Domaine Monpertuis, purchased this domaine in the heart of the Ventoux on the outskirts of the town of St. Pierre de Vassols. Paul purchased the property for its potential, for the old vines, and for the excellent exposure of the vineyards on the lower slopes of Mont Ventoux. Over the following decade, Paul produced impeccably balanced wines, which improved with age. Château Valcombe started to gain a following.
With a view towards retirement and the problems associated with succession to the next generation, which can be complicated and costly in France, Paul opted to sell his holdings in the Ventoux. Luc and Cendrine Guénard purchased the estate and worked under Paul Jeune’s tutelage during the transition period. They now are independent vignerons with a compulsion to further improve this jewel of an estate. Their first efforts were in the 2009 vintage.