Domaine Saladin, Louis Saladin

France, Rhône, Ardèche



The Saladin sisters took over the family Domaine Saladin in Saint-Marcel-d’Ardèche from their parents twelve years ago, as it has been passed down from fathers to sons and father to daughters since 1422, producing wines in conformity with organic principles.  Marie-Laurence, 35, is trained in agriculture engineering; Elisabeth, 33, has a diploma in commerce.  Vivacious, enthusiastic and with strong convictions, they head the small domaine of 18 hectares, worked primarily on terraced red “galets” on the right bank of the southern Rhône.  60% of the wine is Grenache, but other varietals figure in as well:  Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, white and rosé Clairettes, Bourboulenc, Grenache blanc and rosé, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, with a large number of vieilles vignes to be found throughout. The Saladin sisters’ lives as vigneronnes began prematurely in 2003 when their father, Louis, developed a serious health problem.  Total beginners, they organized the harvest and made their first wines.  And since then, their father, who used to sell most of his wines to the famous Marcel Guigal, has complete confidence in them.  “He had the courage to let us make our own mistakes,” the sisters have confided.  “We were helped a lot, had many guardian angels,” notably Jean-Louis Grippat, former vigneron of AOC Hermitage, who gave them advice, and Marcel Guigal with whom Laurence did several internships.  The domaine has always been worked with biodynamics (at least for 70 years)  thanks to their grandfather Henri.  Miraculously, he survived being gassed during World War I. Since then the use of all chemicals was banned from the domaine.  At a time when most other vignerons were planting easily along the Rhône, Louis acquired over the years 12 hectares of abandoned vineyard because, being up on the slopes, they were too difficult to work.  “He was known up there as a real character,” say his daughters.  “Les Saladines,” as they call themselves, carry out their philosophy of “vigneron bio-artisan” with nothing added in the winery except a small amount of sulphur to avoid having any bad surprises.  The Grenache is aged in cuves of cement, the Syrah and Mourvèdre in foudre, with no barriques used so that the wood is subdued.  The Grenache and Carignan are vinified with whole clusters.  “We seek fruit, crispness, mellowness, balance, elegance,” emphasize the two sisters.  "In this endeavor they have succeeded.  Indeed, this lovely team of young local vigneronnes is rewriting the history of the little-known Ardèche terroir". - quotations translated from La Revue du Vin de France, Issue 595, October 2015

Technical Information

Wine Varietals Vine Age Soil Type Farming Type
Côtes-du-Rhône "Tralala!" Rosé 70% Grenaches (noir, rosé and blanc), 20% Cinsault, 10% Carignan 40 years Clay-limestone Certified Organic, practicing Biodynamic
Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Blanc "Per El" Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Clairette, Grenache blanc, Bourboulenc 40 years Large pebbles (galets roulés) Certified Organic, practicing Biodynamic
Côtes-du-Rhône "Loï" Mostly Grenache (red and white), some Syrah and Carignan 40 years Clay-limestone Certified Organic, practicing Biodynamic
Côtes-du-Rhône "Paul" 90% Grenache Noir, 10% Clairette 50 years Clay-limestone Certified Organic, practicing Biodynamic
Cotes-du-Rhone Villages "Fan de Lune" Mostly Mourvèdre, some Syrah and Grenache Noir 40 years Large pebbles (galets roulés) Certified Organic, practicing Biodynamic
Vin de France Haut Brissan Grenache Noir 50 years Large pebbles (galets roulés) Certified Organic, practicing Biodynamic
"Vin de France Chaveyron 1422" Rouge 95% Syrah, 5% Viognier 50 years Red soil with galets roulés Certified Organic, practicing Biodynamic