Etymology of Rochefort du Gard

The name "Rochefort" comes from the Latin "Roca Fortis" and refers to the fortified rock where the peasants of the surrounding area came to take refuge during the attacks of the armed gangs of the Middle Ages. From the fortress, there are few traces left today. On the other hand, at the top of the rock, the Castelas, the 12th century church proudly dominates the whole plain and watches over the vineyards of The Rock.

Birth of the cellar of Rochefort du Gard

In 1933, Rochefort-du-Gard became one of the first villages to be approved and included in the very young Côtes du Rhône Appellation, which was officially recognized in 1937 at the instigation of Baron Le Roy.

In 1952, a group of winemakers from Rochefort-du-Gard, anxious to pool their efforts in order to benefit as much as possible from a terroir included in the appellation of the Côtes du Rhône, decided to create the winery on July 12, 1952 under the presidency of Mr. Joseph Vache, the deposition was registered under the name of the Vignerons du Castelas for a period of 50 years.

The opening of the winery took place three years later in 1955 on the eve of the harvest.


Baron Le Roy, present that day, recalls on this occasion his wine philosophy: "Less wine but better ... ». This quote is still inscribed today on the wall of the cellar.

The Castelas Winemakers Today

The winery's vineyards represent a total of 450 hectares mainly in the Côtes du Rhône appellation, with four distinct soil characteristics: deep soils on stony spreads, marl soils, sandy soils, and Villafranchian terraced floors. These four soil characteristics play an important role in the taste qualities of the grapes.

The regulations of the Côtes du Rhône appellation allow the use of 21 grape varieties, 13 Red, 8 Whites, some as principal, others as secondary. The Castelas Winemakers produce 47% of the total production of  Grenache Noir, 15% of Syrah...

There are 42 winemakers in five villages, Rochefort-du-Gard, Saze, Tavel, Domazan and Pujaut.