Vigneron: Raimond de Villeneuve
Raimond de Villeneuve is unique as far as winemakers are concerned. Like many others he is deeply concerned about the health of his vineyards and the impact of his work upon the environment, but slightly more unusually this has always been his way of working rather than an ideal he worked up to by trial and error.
After working in various other elements of the industry he took over running Chateau Roquefort in 1995 and was pleased to find it was in good order. The previous owners had been careful with the use of chemicals, purely for the practical reason that they cost too much!
One of Raimond's biggest aggravations is the local authority in charge of the appelation. Through observation he has concluded that some of his best vineyards lie on land that is considered 'poor' by the controlling body. He also has the opinion that the Grenache grape makes the best wines, another element that is unfortunately over regulated. This drive to do what is best for his domaine and his vines makes the wines what they are, it also encapsulates the character of the man perfectly. A larger than life, jovial character who always seems to be laughing; it is this and his passion for his work and wine that is such an inspiration.