The history of Christophe Semaska is linked to the revival in 1988, of a great Côte Rôtie domain: Le Chateau de Montlys, a gem left untouched by the 1789 Revolution.
Christophe Semaska hadn’t planned to become a winemaker, but his passion for fine wines and their history led him to Château de Montlys, at St Cyr sur le Rhône. This 16th-century domain sits on a hillside facing the Rhône. A privileged location to exploit the wines of Côte Rôtie, which today remains the largest private domain in Côte Rôtie.
Château de Montlys, surrounded by its 8 hectares of terraced vineyards, produced its last wine during the First World War of 1914 - 18. The Côte Rôtie ‘Château de Montlys’ disappeared from the tables of France for 70 years, after the winemakers went off to fight during the First World War and the total devastation of the vineyards by phylloxera.
In 1988, Christophe bought the Château de Montlys and its 8 hectares of terraced hillsides, 1 hectare 38 of vines were replanted on rested terroir. Today, the vineyard consists of 15 hectares of vines divided into several appellations: Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Saint-Joseph, Côtes-du-Rhône and IGP Coteaux de Vienne.
Vinification and maturation were carried out in the ancient winery of the Château and the vaulted cellars. But due to the technical and economic expansion of the wine domain, a new winery was built in 2011, 500m away, with the best equipment for vinification, maturation, and cellaring, and a new reception and tasting facilities.
So that the love and the passion for the terroir continues to shine even brighter, Christophe Semaska draws on all his knowledge of fine details to achieve excellence.
Christophe Semaska has always listened to his customers in order to give them the best satisfaction. Today, he has shifted from sustainable growing methods to an even more environmentally friendly operation by engaging in organic conversion.
Christophe draws on all his knowledge in detail to achieve excellence with the love and passion for his terroir to shine even brighter. Tasting notes are often of complex aromas of small ripe berry fruit and spices. Full-bodied with finesse on the finish, and silky tannins.
Côte-Rôtie: The Côte-Rôtie, and more generally the northern Rhône which it is a part of, has a continental climate that is very different from the more Mediterranean climate of the southern Rhône. Winters are wet and marked by the cold mistral winds that can last into the spring. During the late spring and early autumn, fog can settle on the vineyards making ripening of the grapes a challenge. The wine region covers 202 hectares (nearly 500 acres) along the western bank of the Rhône River near the village of Ampuis. In the Côte-Rôtie, the Rhône flows southwest for 9.7 kilometers . To maximise the amount of sunshine that the vines receive (especially with the fog that often develops nearharvest time), vineyards will more often be planted on the south or southeast facing slopes along this part of the river.
The Côte-Rôtie is sub-divided into two main sections of varying soil compositions -The Côte Brune ("brown slope") in the north on dark, iron-rich schist and the Côte Blonde with its pale granite and schist soil.
Erosion is a common viticultural hazard on these steep vineyards. The granite and schist soils are vital in retaining heat throughout the day to protect the vines from the chilly temperatures during the mistral seasons. Stone walls are built around the lands and the hillsides are often heavily terraced to try to counter the issues. Some vineyard owners gather the eroded soils and rocks in buckets and carry them back up the slope to the vines.
Condrieu: the climate is a cool, wet one with a Mediterranean influence. The soils are mainly sandstone and clay loam. The vineyards are accessed by windy roads, keeping temperatures in the winery's cellars cool. The wines produced in this region are often fruity and full-bodied.
Saint-Joseph: Terroir de Granit perfectly bears the identity, the character of Saint Joseph; red and black fruit, spice, balsamic notes, herbs and cocoa on the nose and palate. Beautifully structured with sikly tannins, ripe fruit and a long finish.
Côtes du Rhône: Sandy soils are a feature of the stone-covered hillsides, and are planted with Grenache and Syrah to give light, fruity wines. Free-draining terraces of smooth, rounded pudding-stones where Grenache is blended with Syrah and Mourvèdre give smooth, velvety wines with plenty of ripe fruit and a touch of spice.
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We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we operate and pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. It is an honour and a privilege to be on Whadjuk Noongar land.
Under the Liquor Control Act 1988 it is an offence to sell or supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years on licensed or regulated premises; or for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase, or attempt to purchase, liquor on licensed or regulated premises. WA Licence Number: 616215774420
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