Located in a triangle formed by Carpentras, Orange and Vaison-la-Romaine, the village of Gigondas was in Roman times known as Jucunditas (Latin for ‘to give oneself up to joy’) – a fitting name for a place dedicated to wine, where the winemaking tradition has developed for over two millennia. It is thought that the veterans of the Second Roman Legion who established the Julian colony of Arausio (the town of Orange) in the 1st century BCE planted the first vineyards here. Certainly the remnants of the Gallo-Roman vats at St Cosme are proof of winemaking dating back to this period.
At the end of the 19th century, following the phylloxera blight that devastated vineyards throughout France, olive groves were introduced in Gigondas. Some decades later, the olive trees were ravaged by severe frosts in the winters of 1929 and 1956. Grapevines returned in force, and from the beginning of the 1960s they have covered the hillsides throughout the area. Under the guidance of the scholar, scientist and local winemaker Eugène Raspail, winegrowing in Gigondas became increasingly based on agronomic principles.
Gigondas in figures