DOMAINE DU PETIT AOÛT
Petit Août (little August) takes its name from proprietor Yann Agostini’s Italian heritage (Agostini is little August in Italian). Yann’s grandfather left his home near Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy during the second world war and found work in this beautiful valley just south of Gap.
Yann began his wine studies in 1997 where he earned an oenology degree in Bordeaux and did an internship in St. Émilion. In 2000 he moved to the Lot department in the Southwest where he worked at Domaine Belmont. Yann’s wine trail then led him to Australia where he vinified with Martin Williams in the Yarra Valley. Upon his return to France, he worked in the cellar at Château Mont-Redon in Châteauneuf du Pape. In 2002 he returned to the Hautes Alpes and was employed as the head of winemaking at the Cave Coopérative des Hautes-Vignes near Theus. In 2008 he left and began making wine at the nearby Domaine Allemand in exchange for some parcels of vines from which he made his own wine under the name Petit Août. In 2012, after acquiring the use of several parcels of his own, Yann separated from Domaine Allemand and built a winery just outside of Theus.
About 80% of Yann’s vines are rented from other producers: currently there are 4.7 hectares in production, broken into a number of different varieties: Mollard (3.5 ha), Roussanne (1.2 ha), Clairette (.8 ha), Muscat (.4 ha), Cabernet Sauvignon (.3 ha) and Marsanne (.2 ha). Ages of the vines vary greatly, with the oldest being 55 years old and the youngest 5 years old. While always respecting the vineyards, Yann took the plunge in 2014 and began working organically. He uses no artificial fertilizers or herbicides, and only copper and sulphur to treat the vines. Harvest is by hand and most wines are made in fibreglass and stainless-steel tanks.