Welcome to Domaine Ampélidacées
In Rangiroa, in the heart of the Tuamotu Archipelago, we are lucky to work on an entirely new "terroir", in the middle of the Pacific Ocean… In order to grow exceptional wine, our domaine develops know-how and techniques adapted to Polynesian soil.
Our wines are harvested, vinified and raised at the domaine, according to the high standards we apply to our entire production. Their freshness is undoubtedly the main characteristic of the wines of Tahiti, as well as their mind-blowing aroma. Today the vineyard of Rangiroa produces only white wines (blanc sec, blanc de corail and blanc moelleux) and rosé wine (rosé Nacarat).
We invite you to discover the adventure of Vin de Tahiti : the story of men and women profoundly attached to their terroir, which they are eager to reveal and share through surprising wines with a unique identity.
Vin de Tahiti is made in the heart of the South Pacific, in the Tuamotu archipelago in French Polynesia, a territory that includes over 100 islands and atolls, more than 5000 kilometers from the nearest continent. Islands only represents a total land surface of 1622 square miles, scattered over an area equivalent to Europe.
The vineyard is located on Rangiroa, "the island of the immense sky", in paumotu dialect : one of the world's largest atolls, some say almost large enough to contain the island of Tahiti itself. The atoll, already famous among deep-sea divers for the beauty of the coral reefs of its two ocean passes, is now also known for its wine.
It is grown on a small motu (islet), a few minutes' boat ride from the village of Avatoru and a 45-minute flight from Tahiti.
On the motu, at the end of the coral road lined with coconut trees, the first rows of vine stocks appear…
This is Domaine Ampélidacées, where the vine grows a hundred yards away from the lagoon and less than 400 yards from the great ocean.
The creation of a vineyard in French Polynesia required long years of preliminary research. No production of such scope had yet been undertaken in Polynesia, and certainly not on an atoll. The most important in winegrowing is understanding the soil. Another element essential to the balance of winegrowing territories is water. Irrigation is made possible by wells dug at the lowest point of the plot, reaching the water table, which is always present and never very deep. The moisture content of the vine stock and its evolution are very important for properly conducting the development of a terroir. The sun also has a decisive influence on the vine in producing quality fruit. But what is crucial on this "terra incognita" remains the control of the vegetative cycle, the quality of sun exposure and the pruning which will actually determine the time of blossoming, maturing and harvesting, as Polynesian climate does not feature a cold season.
The first stocks were imported in 1992 and went though acclimation and selection tests in the main archipelagos of Polynesia. Because seasons are not clear-cut, it is the pruning that will kick start the life cycle, provoke a stress and allow the birth of new buds that will turn into grapes.
There are two harvests per year, in May and December, which we call austral winter and austral summer harvests.
The Rangiroa vineyard is the result of long hard work, demanding much patience from the promoters of the project and their team.
A few key dates
- 1992-1994 : Plantation try-outs in the five archipelagos, to determine the ideal location for winegrowing in French Polynesia.
- 1997 : Three hectares are planted in Rangiroa after much groundwork.
- 1999-2000 : First harvests.
- 2003 : The winery produces 400 bottles per harvest, twice a year.
- 2005 : Construction of a new storehouse.
- 2006 : Production rises from 10 to 26 tons of grapes.
- 2008 : The Vin de Tahiti Blanc sec, raised in oak barrels, vintage 2006, wins the silver medal at the 14th Vinalies Internationales in Paris.
- 2009 : The Vin de Tahiti Blanc de corail, vintage 2007, wins the silver medal at the 15th Vinalies Internationales in Paris.
- 2010 : The domaine represents 8 hectares of vine and a production of 40 000 bottles per year.
Of land and men
No great terroir exists without the human willpower to reveal it. Domaine Ampélidacées is no exception to this rule, thanks to the outstanding personality of Dominique Auroy.
A lover of pleasurable, fruity, elegant wines, he has passed on this philosophy to his collaborators. To grow wine under this latitude, to develop the quality of production, that is the challenge he set for himself in the 1990's. Reinventing the vineyard in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and prompting it to give its very best, such is the work undertaken on Polynesian soil.
Sébastien Thépénier leads the domaine's technical staff. This oenologist carries on the work of his predecessors (Thierry Chaumais, Bruno Corneaux) at the domaine since 2002. His experience and his love of wine give him the passion and skill to care for the vineyard and the winemaking process.
A vineyard does not come to life without a motivated team that likes a job well done. Jacqueline, vineyard manager, Louis, Hokulea and the others have all brought a little bit of themselves into this adventure. The wine you taste also tells their story.
Since its beginnings, the domaine tries to encourage natural balance by careful winegrowing. This practice aims at keeping the vineyard in harmony with its environment, the mark of terroir and the climate peculiar to each vintage.
Since October 2010, our team has started an organic approach, committed to sustainability and ethics : an important step for the vineyard's image.
Ecocert is the only organic certification body authorized to control winegrowing operations and issue the "organic farming" certification and the AB logo.
In the Pacific region, the POETCom ( Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community) is also able to award the Oceania Organic Farming norm and the Bio Pasifika seal.
The love of their trade, the respect of the environment and a humanist philosophy are the values shared by the makers of Vin de Tahiti in Polynesia. If you have to have a reason for drinking organic, this one alone would be enough.