Domaine Houchart Rouge is a quirky little wine. It’s a red from Provence, the land most winelovers associate with Rosé, including our consistently 90-point-rated, best-buy-named Houchart Rosé. And with all the barrels and barrels of Rosé flooding the markets, this little beauty can get overshadowed by its more well-known cousin. In Food & Wine magazine, Houchart Red found a moment of glory when Writer Ray Isles named her as a Best Wine to Pair with Burgers.
It’s not surprising a wine enthusiast would find this diamond in the rough. Produced by Famille Quiot, this is an actual estate-bottled wine, unlike many of the big, flashy brands that have taken over the Provence Rosé category. Famille Quiot vineyards are run, farmed and owned by the Quiot family, by the next generation in a long lineage of esteemed winemakers. Florence Quiot took over as CEO at Famille Quiote when the revered family patriarch Jerome Quiot passed suddenly in 2018. Florence’s brother Jean-Baptiste is the head winemaker at Famille Quiot.
Domaine Houchart Rouge is a delightfully versatile, medium-bodied red that can you literally can pair with anything. You’ll taste a little spice, a little earth, and going into fall it’s a seasonal favorite by the firepit, unlike Rosé, which is becoming more of a year-round pour. The well-balanced blend is made with luscious Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
The vine have a vine age of 21 years, and the domaine is 197 acres in total. The large size of the vineyards, the terroir is infused with a wide variety of soil types, with predominantly sandy, chalky soil and deeper beds of clay and silt. This allows adequate drainage of rainfall and ensures the vines are able to produce the best possible quality.
Domaine Houchart is today owned by Geneviève, the wife of Jérôme Quiot. It was originally acquired by her great-grandfather. In the 1850’s, Aurelien Houchart was an energetic proprietor and negociant in wine. Aurelien created one of the largest domaines in Provence. The domaine’s modern claim to fame, pointed out by Ray Isle in Food & Wine was that the legendary Cezanne, a schoolmate of Aurelien’s, was known to frequent.
Aurelien’s domaine was later divided among his five children. Geneviève Quiot’s grandfather, Hilaire Houchart, inherited 123 acres of vines , the cellars and other agricultural buildings.
Photo by Victor Protasio