The story of Domaine de Trévallon, a winery in the Alpilles region of Provence, is an extraordinary one: it begins with the tapestry of a famous Picasso painting.
In 1955, Nelson Rockefeller commissioned Jacqueline de la Baume Dürrbach, an artist and tapestry weaver of the Dürrbach Atelier, to weave a tapestry of Picasso's celebrated painting of the Spanish Civil War, Guernica. Dürrbach was known for doing tapestries of not only Picasso's work, but other European cubist artists such as Fernand Léger and Albert Gleizes.
Jacqueline and husband René, an artist as well, used the commission fee to purchase a house and land in the yet undiscovered region of the Alpilles. Their dream was to become viticulteurs, or winegrowers. When they planted their first vines in 1973, their son Eloi, who was in the middle of obtaining his architecture degree at the École de Beaux Arts in Paris, came home to help and never looked back. He helped them turn Domaine de Trévallon into the highly acclaimed winery it is today, a favorite of wine connoisseurs Kermit Lynch and Robert Parker.
The wine is still produced with traditional methods: without chemicals, pesticides, or added yeast. Eloi Dürrbach believes in doing as little to the wine as possible. "I was 23 when I first started making wine," he says. "I didn't have any preconceived ideas, I just wanted to make good wine, that's all. I don't think that's changed." To see Dürrbach speaking about his passion for wine, view this YouTube clip. Visits to the winery are by appointment only: contact Domaine de Trévallon.
Above: The house was purchased with the proceeds from the sale of Dürrbach's tapestry.
Above: Jacqueline de la Baume Dürrbach discusses one of her tapestries with Picasso. Image via Kykuit.
Above: The winery, which is attached to the house, has its own entry through the wooden blue doors.
Above: The oak casks hold many vintages of Domaine de Trévallon.
Above: The 2007 wines have been particularly acclaimed.
Above: Wine bottles stored en masse.
Above: The spirit of Eloi's father, René, lives on in the fifty wine labels he designed for Domaine de Trévallon in the 90s. The winery has used a label every year since and will continue to do so into the next generation when Eloi's son, Antoine, takes the helm.
Above: A collection of various vintages. Photograph by Stephane Gripari.
Above: A set of bottles awaiting shipment.
Above: In January, the vineyard feels as if it is resting.
Above: Eloi Dürrbach walks along a path from the vineyard back to the winery.