After having worked for Cinzano in Swizerland and as a wine buyer sourcing wine for German sekt producers, Bruno Pellegrini decided to study oenology to be able to start his own winery. In 1990 he arrived in La Clape and discovered Château Ricardelle, with 45 ha of vineyards, for sale. The deal was done. His favourite grapes are carignan and grenache. “They can take the heat and the dry climate much better than the syrah” he says. The “visiting card” of the chateau is the wine called Château Ricardelle La Clape, a grenache-carignan blend that costs some 7 euro at the winery. It is well structured without “make-up”, with character from the wild herbs growing around the vineyard. Pellegrini also makes a very good white from bourboulenc, roussanne and grenache blanc – complex, chewy (“gras”) and flowery. “Pellegrini” is an easy-to-like mix of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and the new grape variety marselan. The Closablières (9.50 euro) has been very well received by the market and is an oak-aged syrah-based wine with dark fruit, cocoa and wood in the character. A wine for the winter in front of the oak fire, says Bruno. He also makes several other cuvées well worth tasting.