Guide to the Loire regions


Grower Profiles

Domaine le Pavillon
José-Marc da Costa was born into a family of modest means in Portugal in 1946. His father made a little wine for the family table. He came to Paris to study and has an engineering degree. He met his wife, Marie-Thérèse, an ex nurse when in hospital. She comes from an old Breton farming family.

They had often visited the Creuze in the early 1990s to see friends and had fallen for the region's charms. Da Costa, who had by now been in Paris for 27 years working for both Bouygues, the French industrial group, and the Compagnie Générale des Eaux, decided to invest in a maison secondaire and bought an abandoned small holding on the main street in Châteaumeillant that came with four hectares of land. After acquiring some planting rights, they moved here permanently in 1995. After a year’s sabbatical spent learning viticulture in Bordeaux, the pair converted the old stone cow shed to a modern, purpose built cellar. 

Wine Overview:
The four hectares of land that came with the property were planted with Pinot Noir and Gamay in the mid 1990s; two hectares of each. There are three wines produced here; a little gris, which is made from both varieties, a somewhat overcooked 100% Pinot Noir that is aged in new oak, and a delicious, stainless steel fermented and aged wine that forms the mainstay of their range.

Their sales are mostly from the cellar door, Madame da Costa stating that they enjoy plenty of passing trade, being situated on the main road and in a town that is celebrated as one of the most important cross roads in France. Their most important client, however, is ‘le Paradis’ the local restaurant, which is just a few doors along the road.

The Wines:
These are well made wines and worth searching out.

2004 Châteaumeillant  
Made with 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay. Mid depth appearance and shows some evolution and maturity. Savoury and organic nose with some complexity. Good structure and freshness to the palate with soft tannins and good length. Delicate, with very good Pinot expression. Drinking mow, but could hold another few years. (01/09)  

José-Marc and Marie-Thérèse Da Costa
Domaine Le Pavillon
31 Avenue Antoine Meillet
T/F + 33 2 48 61 43 12

Back to top