‘Pour vivre heureux, vivons cachés’ (to live happy, live hidden) is Dominique Hauvette’s motto, without a shadow of a doubt.

In her estate nestled on the northern slope of the Massif des Alpilles, the discreet Dominique Hauvette has become a key figure in Provence. In 1988, she settled in the village of Saint Rémy de Provence and she has not ceased to craft magnificent red, white, and rosé wines in a very singular style. They are pure, resplendent and almost touching.

Dominique Hauvette is a Parisian girl whose father was an engineer.  In the 1970s, he purchased a hotel in Val d’Isère, which his wife ran. Each winter, Dominique spent time in the Alps. She even became a ski instructor. However, she had a thirst for colours. In 1980, she went on holidays for a month in Provence. She never returned to the Alps.

Her father purchased a mas (small farm) of 2.5 hectares and told her: ‘We will live here and you will make the wine.’ 

She began to study oenology. At the same time, her enraptured passion for horses made her take the decision to devote her life to them.  

Throughout her life, she encountered people who inspired her, including Eloi Dürrbach, her mentor from Domaine de Trévallon, in the neighbouring village of Les Baux de Provence.

Discreet, charismatic, and sensitive with a strong and personality, Dominique doesn’t take any shortcuts with the farming of her vineyards, nor in the cellar. She has managed to create her very own style.

Domaine Hauvette covers 17 hectares, scattered across different Provence appellations. The vines are surrounded by a rocky and wild landscape, and the clay and limestone soil retains moisture for the summer months. The conversation to biodynamics started two decades ago, and it certainly added precision to her already organic practices. 

Dominique Hauvette’s standards are uncompromising. With incredible care, she respects the soil and the authenticity of the terroir. Yields are desperately small. The work in the vineyards and in the cellar is measured with very little intervention. She is one of the pioneers in the natural wine movement and her wines are impressive. 

Each bottle produced by Dominique brings out a certain emotion. The reds are perfumed with a remarkable finesse, with an indisputable ageing potential. The white is structured and could easily be compared with a fine wine from the Rhône Valley. 

Nowadays, Dominique Hauvette shares the life of the domaine with two young associates, Jéromine and Cosme-Marie. This soon-to-be septuagenarian lady lives in complete symbiosis with her terroir and her thirty horses. She is an artist with uncompromising standards, and it shows in her majestic and almost spiritual wines.

Profile © Françoise and Seán Gilley

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