Domaines Ott was founded in 1912 by Marcel Ott, an agricultural engineer from Alsace who dreamed of establishing a great wine estate near the Mediterranean. He moved to Cavalaire in 1896 and founded Château de Selle in 1912, followed by Clos Mireille in 1935 and then Château Romassan in 1956. These wines are made at the distinctively different estates in the Bandol and Côtes de Provence appellations.
Domaines Ott was managed by Marcel’s descendants until 2004 when the Estates were purchased by Champagne Louis Roederer to add to their impressive portfolio of iconic Domaines. Several of the Ott family members remain involved in production.
Stringent cultivation techniques are practiced using natural fertilizers and manual debudding for restrictive volume yields. The grapes are hand picked, followed by strict and selective sorting on tables and an extremely delicate pressing process of whole bunches with a super short maceration to produce the beautiful light colour. Slow fermentation takes place in thermo-regulated vats then ageing in oak casks. Bottling is done the following spring. These are just some of the reasons why this wine has acquired the reputation of being one of the ‘finest vintage rosés in the world’.
Clos Mireille: Acquired in 1935, the Côtes de Provence appellation has 50 hectares planted to vines. The land was entirely remodeled and replanted in the 1930s. It is currently going through its third remodeling with a four year programme where plots have been ripped out and planted with various grass crops that will condition and prepare the soils for replanting, increasing production in the future. Clos Mireille is an ancient terrain well known for its mix of silica, clay and schist soils and the estate’s broad seafront location. The microclimate and the sea spray provide highly favourable conditions for white wines and the parcels used in the “blanc” slope down as far as the sea.The vines are levelled into espaliers to enable even tilling and planting and are pruned and trained using the double cordon method.
Grape varieties: Only two grape varieties are used for the distinctive Blanc de Blancs produced here: Sémillon for honeyed roundness and Rolle for its floral, fruity notes.
Grenache, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah make up the world famous Coeur de Grain Rosé, produced by the saignée method.
Château Romassan: Situated at the foot of the village of Le Castellet in the heart of the Bandol appellation, Château Romassan became part of the Ott holdings in 1956. All 69 hectares are planted with vines and were entirely remodelled and replanted over a 30-year period. This region is known for its terraced landscapes built from the hard stone, with vines planted into vast terraces with varying exposures. The poor soil in Bandol comprising of limestone, sandstone and marl stresses the vines encouraging them to establish themselves deep in the terroir.
Grape varieties: Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre are grown for this Coeur de Grain Rosé, also made by the saignée method. This wine has a spicier character than the Clos Mireille rosé. The estate also produces a red wine with superb texture and ageing potential coming from a Mourvèdre based blend.
The story of the Ott star: At the turn of the 20th century, Marcel Ott wanted to patent his name and law required that he add a distinctive symbol; he chose the star.