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Domaine Santa Duc was founded in Gigondas 1874 and is now led by 6th generation owner and winemaker, Benjamin Gras. After Benjamin received his diploma of oenology at the University of Bourgogne he spent time at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Bodega Vega-Sicilia learning from some of the wine world's most famous estates.

The goal at Santa Duc has always been to produce top-quality fruit from impeccably tended vineyard sites, the style of winemaking has changed with each generation. Benjamin’s father, Yves Gras took over the estate from his father in 1985 and made an immediate impact. Not long after taking over, Robert Parker wrote: “Santa Duc combines the muscle, richness and fire of a classic Gigondas with a degree of elegance and purity that many wines of this appellation lack.”

In 1994, Yves began buying abandoned vineyard sites in Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape and has painstakingly restoring them to life. The sites in Gigondas nestled in at the foot of the Dentelles are some of the most beautiful vineyards you could ever visit! Yves was always a man of vision, looking for vineyards with massale selection, employing Biodynamics and making wines with as little intervention as possible. Benjamin took over in 2017 which is the first vintage where the vineyards are certified Biodynamic. Benjamin and his father share many of the same philosophies and he is continuing the family legacy, producing beautiful, vibrant wines.

Reviews for this winery

  • Vinous

    Wine lovers whose experience with this estate's wines is based on those produced in the late 1980s and 1990s are in for a shock if they revisit Yves Gras's more recent work. While these are undoubtedly among the most powerful wines produced as Gigondas, the oak presence, weight and ripeness that marked many bottlings of the past have been dialed back quite a bit. Not so much that fans of the old style should freak out, but definitely to an extent that wine lovers who typically steer clear of brawny southern Rhônes will be pleasantly surprised.

    September 2017

  • Wine Advocate

    Gigondas-based Yves Gras has quietly grown his holdings in Châteauneuf du Pape to six hectares, from which he's producing four separate cuvées. I'm sure it will hurt some feelings to say an outsider like Gras is producing some of the most compelling examples of Châteauneuf du Pape, but keep in mind these are generally tiny-production gems and not easy to track down.

    October 2017

  • Vinous

    Under Benjamin Gras’ direction, the wines at this venerable domaine have never been better. Santa Duc started off at a high point thanks to the hard work of Benjamin’s father, Yves. The wines now are more graceful and detailed than in the past, but they are definitely not lightweights. Based in Gigondas, the specialty, the estate also works in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and owns a mere 1.3 hectares in Vacqueyras.

    February 2020