DOMAINE DE THULON
Domaine de Thulon is a family owned winery comprising 17 hectares in the Chiroubles district of Beaujolais. The winery is attached to the Chateau de Thulon, dating from the 15th century.
Annie and René Jambon work the domain with their son, Laurent, oenologist, and their daughter Carine, marketing manager.
The hillsides of Beaujolais do not allow much mechanisation, therefore, the vineyards are worked manually, and together with our limited use of chemicals, we have been certified “Sustainable Agriculture”.
Most of their wines are made using the traditional Beaujolais method of whole grape carbonic maceration of the Gamay grape, but we also use more creative processes and different varietals.
Domaine de Thulon produces 93,000 litres of wine per year in the following appellations:
Beaujolais-villages Rosé, Beaujolais-villages Rouge et Beaujolais-villages Nouveau, Beaujolais-villages Blanc (Chardonnay), Régnié, Chiroubles, and Morgon-charmes.
The Chiroubles appellation is the smallest of the 10 Beaujolais crus, with around 235 hectares (800 acres) under vine.
The wine production zone, around the commune of Chiroubles, stretches up the southeast facing slopes of the hills just to the west of Beaujolais, and shares border with Morgon, to the south, and Fleurie. Its terroir is similar to that of the latter.
However, vineyards in Chiroubles rise as high as 450 meters above sea level, making them some of the most elevated in Beaujolais. As a result, there is a more pronounced diurnal temperature shift here than in most of Beaujolais. The warm sunshine of the Saône River valley is followed by much cooler evenings.
This cooling of the grapes overnight helps to extend the growing season in Chiroubles. Harvest here often comes later than in the rest of northern Beaujolais. While the cooler local climate often translates as freshness in Chiroubles wines, a very cold vintage can mean grapes struggle to ripen fully. This gives rise to a lighter, fresher style of red wine, often with floral and red fruit characters.
In fact, Chiroubles is often described as being the most "Beaujolais-like" of the 10 cru wines.
As in much of Beaujolais, the sandy eroded granite soils on the slopes of the hills provide an excellent environment for the Gamay grapes. As they store and reflect heat, they optimize the ripening of the grapes. This does moderate the cooler night time temperatures. Good drainage ensures that the vines focus on the production of high quality berries rather than leaf growth.
Vineyards were established in Chiroubles by Benedictine monks as early as the Middle Ages, and were expanded in the 15th Century by wealthy Lyonnais. The commune also holds a special place in the 19th-Century fight against phylloxera.
Ampelographer Victor Pulliat, who contributed significant research into the grafting of vines onto phylloxera-resistant rootstock, resided in the area. A monument to his work stands today in the village of Chiroubles. His achievements are also celebrated annually at the Fête des Crus du Beaujolais.
Morgon is the largest of 10 Beaujolais crus located on the slopes of the Beaujolais hills on the western side of the Saone River. The vineyard zone occupies about 1,100 hectares surrounding the commune of Villié-Morgon at an average altitude of 310m. The vineyards of Fleurie and Chiroubles lie directly to the north of Morgon. Brouilly and Regnié make up the southern border.
The most distinctive feature of Morgon's terroir is the weathered, decomposing soil of granite and schist rich in iron which gives Morgon wines an earthy depth rarely found in any of the other Beaujolais Cru.
As in much of the Beaujolais region, the vineyards are protected from cold northwesterly winds by the hills immediately west of Beaujolais. Instead, a warm and dry foehn wind develops on the eastern slopes of these hills, drying the vineyards after rain and helping to prevent fungal vine diseases such as mildew.
The wide, shallow valley of the Saône River offers no topographical barriers to sunlight. Therefore the vines benefit from plentiful sunshine during the growing season, helping the development of phenols and sugars in the grapes. This is moderated by some cooling influences from the Mediterranean Sea, some way to the south, allowing for the retention of acidity in the wines.
The appellation applies only to red wines based on the Gamay grape variety.
The wines made here tend to be denser than those made in much of the rest of Beaujolais. They often display ripe cherry and dark fruit characters and a fleshy, juicy texture that is not common in Beaujolais wines.
As in most of the other cru Beaujolais, the wines tend to be made using the traditional semi-carbonic "maceration traditionelle". Many of the top, age worthy cuvées undergo longer fermentations and are aged in barrel.