With sweeping curves, the iconic bottle of Domaines Ott is the sign of quality of the estate's wines. In 1896, Marcel Ott settled in Provence where he revived the great wines of the region, worthy of an ancient tradition. His expertise has consistently remained in the service of a passion that his heirs still share today. The Ott family has developed a noble family of pink, red and white wines in the three estates the family has acquired, each with their unique characteristics : the austerity of Chateau de Selle, the exoticism of Clos Mireille and grandeur of Castle Romassan. In 2004, Domaine Ott joined the Champagne house Louis Roederer.
When Marcel Ott purchased the first of three Ott estates in 1896, he saw great potential in the stunning landscape of Provence and its unique, diverse range of terroirs. And after nearly a century of replanting and restructuring, the Ott family successfully transformed their vineyards from a phylloxera-ridden land where only olives, lavender and mulberry trees would grow, into one of the most highly regarded wineries in the region. The Domaines Ott property spans over 3 distinct estates and 2 AOC appellations in Provence, all of them united by the founder’s grand legacy and his descendants’ passion for winemaking.
Ott estates were established in 1896 by Marcel Ott, an agronomy engineering graduate originally from Alsace, who left his hometown to discover the wine regions of France. Inspired by the stunning landscape he encountered in Provence and by the region’s ancient legacy of winemaking, Ott chose to settle here and make Provence his home. He also made it his mission to showcase the enormous potential he recognized in Provence’s terroir. Since phylloxera had, in the late 19th century, wiped out nearly all of the vines of the region, the land was cheaper to purchase, but also quite barren. Getting the vineyards to a productive state posed many challenges, as they had to be completely reconstructed and the vines replanted. Today, the three estates - Chateau de Selle, Clos Mireille and Chateau Romassan - are planted with a wide range of varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvedre. This diversity of varietals planted reflects the diversity of the soil types and microclimates to be found across the vineyards of Ott.
Such a pure expression of the Provencal landscape deserved a bottle worthy of housing it, which is why in 1930 René Ott designed a vessel that did just that. The estate’s signature Domaine Ott wine comes in an emblematic bottle, easily recognizable for its graceful curves and slender, polished shape. The undulating glass is meant to mimic the gently sloping hills, while the general shape of the bottle recalls the amphorae which were historically used to store and cool the wines of this region. Today the Ott bottle has become the estate’s signature and a guarantee of excellence in the quality of its wines.
Following in the footsteps of their passionate ancestors, cousins Jean-François and Christian Ott continue to run the estate, producing some of the most celebrated wines of the region.
The Ott estate produces a portfolio of excellent wines on its three estates, each of which is home to a unique terroir.
In 1912, Chateau de Selle became the first of the Ott properties, after its purchase by Marcel Ott. Located in Tarandeau, near the former residence of the Counts of Provence, this historic estate is home to vines planted in gypsum, red clay, dolomite and sandstone, combined with stone and gravel soils. The estate’s position high up on limestone slopes protects the vines from frost in the wintertime. In fact, the winters here are quite mild, while the summers tend to be dry and very sunny. The vines, aged 19 years on average, are planted on 140 hectares of terraced vineyards. The wines produced from this terroir express the dry climate and the rich mineral content of the soil, resulting in a complex and intense profile. These wines blend the key varietals grown in the Chateau de Selle property, with each varietal contributing its own identity to the blend. The complexity, elegance and power of Cabernet Sauvignon meets the body and texture of Grenache, while Cinsault lends a delicate touch and Syrah imbues the blend with its rich color. Cheateau de Selle produces under the AOC Cotes de Provence appellation, a signature Domaines Ott Château de Selle rosé, which offers a subtle balance between finesse and structure. This is an austere wine bathed in sunshine, expressing with emphasis the complexity of limestone hills and a dry Mediterranean climate. This Provence rosé exudes aromas of citrus and ochard flowers, as well as a touch of spice. The property also produces an aromatic, fruity and full-bodied red wine with spicy notes of Syrah blended with the powerful and fragrant notes of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Located right on the Mediterranean coast, overlooking the sea at La Londe Les Maures, is the Ott family’s second estate, Clos Mireille. Marcel Ott added this property in the 1930’s and began replanting and consolidating the vineyards shortly after. The vines, 16 years old on average, are planted in schist soils and clay on an ancient rocky outcrop, with no limestone present. The vineyard is cooled by a refreshing mist from the sea, which is complemented by dry air from the hillside. The unique climate created by the surrounding sea and hills result in very subtle and distinctive wines. The Clos Mireille vineyard produces under the AOC Cotes de Provence appellation a bright, fresh and mineral rosé whose blend is dominated by Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. This vineyard is also home to a very unique and full-flavored Blanc de Blancs made primarily of Semillon, blended with aromatic Rolle and aged in large oak casks, called foudres.
The family’s third estate, Chateau Romassan, was added in the 1956 and was entirely replanted, a process which took roughly 30 years to complete. Located in the Var department and in the heart of the famous Bandol appellation, this vineyard is planted predominantly with Mourvedre, a varietal indigenous to the area. Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah are also grown nearby, but in smaller quantities. The vines are 25 years old on average and spread over a total area of 75 hectares. Chateau Romassan is characterized by a unique soil composition, which includes chalk, sandstone and marl on gravel. Under the AOC Bandol appellation, Chateau Romassan produces a Domaines Ott rosé that expresses the solidity, structure and impressive aging capacity of the Mourvedre variety. This flagship wine is complemented beautifully by the full-bodied texture of Grenache, the soft texture of Cinsault and the fruit of Syrah. The Domaines Ott Chateau Romassan rosé displays an ethereal pink color with the orange tint so representative of Mourvedre grape. Definitely the most complex of the three Domaines Ott cuvées, the aromas of this wine evolved from lively and bright notes of grapefruit and freshy fruit to more jammy, fruit tart aromas after aeration. The finish is wonderfully persistent and long. Chateau Romassan also produces an AOC Bandol red wine with a powerful bouquet of red berries, from Mourvedre blended with the full-bodied Grenache.
As an extension of the Domaines Ott range, the estate also produces a more accessible, easy-drinking BY.OTT line, blended and bottled at the new Chateau de Selle cellar in the AOC Cotes de Provence appellation. The BY.OTT line includes a red-fruit-scented red, a crisp and fresh white and a zesty rosé made in the style of the great rosés of Provence. These wines are fantastic options for an aperitif, also pairing with a wide array of light-bodied, full-flavored summertime dishes.
The vineyards on each Ott estate are cultivated with environmentally friendly organic farming practices, including the use of organic fertilizers and naturally-occurring chemicals (Sulphur and the Bordeaux mixture of copper, slaked lime and black soap) to treat vine diseases. When they became too old, they are replaced in a way that the yield remains the same across all three estates. During the growth season, the vines are constantly trimmed to keep them healthy. Weeds are removed from around the vines and each row is ploughed to loosen the soil. This allows the soil to more easily absorb spring rains and sunshine. In April, the vines are de-budded to limit the yield and in May they are trellised onto wires to allow them to grow more easily. In the months of June and July, the heat sets in and the grapes grow and ripen. After weeks of waiting for optimal maturity, the grapes are picked by hand, a process which takes around 20 days in total.
The berries are sorted twice – first in the field and then again on the sorting table at the winery. The grapes are quickly cooled and then lightly pressed by a crusher. The sediment is removed in order to clarify the must and the wine is poured into large oak barrels, where they are left to rest with occasional stirring of the lees. As the wine develops complex aromas in flavors, it is tasted often, and in February the final blend is selected for each wine and vintage.