Gigondas is named from old Roman origins, whose soldiers used the area as a recreational site and therefore named it ‘Jocunditas’, meaning joyful in Latin. An area of just 3,000 acres, Gigondas is located on the high, steep slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail, a small chain of mountains in Provence. The climate is Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and warm wet winters, and is influenced by the ‘mistral’ or the dry, strong winds that require the planting of wind-breaks in the area.
The red wines of Gigondas are known for being muscular and delightfully untamed with a sweet, inviting core—qualities mostly attributed to their rugged soils of limestone, yellow clay, and heat-retaining cobbles. These wines are made mostly of Grenache, with Syrah, Mourvèdre and occasionally very small portions of Cinsaut and other varieties.
In the 20th century Gigondas petitioned its way up through the French appellation designations, finally winning its own appellation in 1971. A long-deserved title for a region that has been noted for its charming and distinctive wines since the Roman times.