Domaine de l'Hortus
Located in the Languedoc appellation of Pic Saint Loup, Domaine De l’Hortus (from the Latin word for 'garden') was founded during the 1970s, when Jean Orliac, then a professor of Agriculture, purchased some abandoned parcels in an area that he had frequently visited for hiking and rock climbing. Initially, he cleared and planted only four hectares and spent fifteen years preparing the vineyards and getting to know the land before his first vintage was released in 1990.
As time passed more vineyard parcels were acquired, a winery and cellars were built and, eventually, the Orliacs' four children returned to share the responsibilities of running the estate. The family works diligently to make sure their farming and winemaking methods respect nature and their terroir, and have always resisted the use of chemicals in their vineyards.
The vineyards are located in the valley between the limestone slopes of the Pic Saint Loup and the Montagne de Hortus. The appellation lies between and benefits from both the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Cevennes mountain range to the north. The sea brings the Marin (south wind) which provides gentle, warmer weather and humidity, while the mountains in the north provide a daily flow of cool, dry air. These opposing influences create a significant diurnal shift, perfect for the Rhone varietals that Jean Orliac planted.
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