Château Canadel is a small, family-owned estate with 15ha of prime vineyards on a unique terroir,
located in the hamlet of Le Plan du Castellet, within the famed terraces of Bandol. The property consists of a small village of historic houses, built around a chapel and ancient water canals, dating back to the 13th century. These canals gave the estate its name, which evolved over time: Canal d’eau became Canadeau, and finally Canadel.
Château Canadel’s unique vineyards are planted on a geological anomaly with an inversion of soil layers from the birth of the Alps, known as the Renversement du Beausset. This resulted in the Triassic layer (200 million years old) being flipped on top of the Cretaceous layer (65 million years old) due to the subduction of a tectonic plate which has surfaced the oldest rock outcroppings in the whole of the appellation. To our knowledge, this unusual soil for the area is found only in a handful of other wines (Pibarnon, Terrebrune, and in Domaine Tempier’s La Migoua vineyard) but almost nowhere else in the appellation. The limestone and clay soils are particularly good for water retention in an otherwise arid region. The vineyards are planted on south-facing restanques (terraces), directly facing the Massif du Gros Cerveau, which blocks rain clouds and provides an ideal climate for full ripening of the indigenous mourvèdre grape.
Post-phylloxera, the vineyards here were planted with cuttings from historic estates…
for quality and clonal diversity with a focus on mourvèdre, along with cinsault and grenache. Throughout the 20th century, the grapes from this estate were sold to Domaines Ott. In 2007, it was purchased by Jacques and Caroline de Chateauvieux, who were returning with their family from the island of Réunion, beginning the revitalization of the unique history of the property and terroir.
Since 2009, the winery has been run by their daughter Laure Benoist, agricultural engineer, and her husband Vianney Benoist, agronomist and enologist. Having spent 4 years making wine with the famed Domaine Tempier team, Vianney gained valuable experience in soulful, broad-spectrum, cinematic red wines befitting of the Bandol appellation. Laure and Vianney practice organic viticulture and use biodynamic principles in their vineyard work, with all work being done by hand on the terraces. All movement in the winery is by gravity flow and wines are bottled unfiltered. Finally, after 5 years of diligent work in their vineyards, the first vintage was made in 2014 and the resulting wines already show incredible depth and terroir expression.
With their unique soil and position within Bandol in Le Plan du Castellet, Laure and Vianney are focused on making long-lived reds from the local mourvèdre as well as small amounts of elegantly structured Bandol rosé and blanc. The young, hard-working spirit behind this estate is poised to claim a place among the greats of Bandol.