From ‘Château de Selle’ to ‘By Ott’

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There have been four generations to date. Four generations that have worked long and hard to achieve the results they were striving for. Four generations that have made their wineries a reference, not only in Provence, but around the world. Four generations that have dedicated themselves, first and foremost, to rosé wine, establishing their rosés as being among the best in the world. Welcome to Domaines Ott.

A perfect view of Clos Mireille Towards the end of the 19th century, Marcel Ott, a young agricultural engineer of Alsatian origin, scoured the regions of France in search of the perfect location in which to produce wine. He was very taken with an area of land close to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.  Sensing, intuitively, that the unique conditions found in this location could engender new and very special wines, he decided to settle there to grow his vines.  His was the first generation.

The vineyards of Provence did not escape Phylloxera and, no doubt, as a result of the mad rush to restart wine production, new vines were planted very quickly without giving the matter a great deal of thought. However, Marcel Ott, who had made up his mind to produce wine in this area, started planting all his estates with noble grape varieties with a view to creating the fine wines that he was convinced these Mediterranean lands could offer.

Chateau de Selle The next generation, that of Marcel’s son René Ott, also dedicated itself to the family wine business. Back in the 1930’s, René was already of the opinion that the family’s wines should possess certain characteristics that would set them apart and earn them a reputation for quality. Back then, a very high percentage of wines was sold in barrels, which meant that they were served at the table in carafes or pitchers without any visible indication of the producer’s identity.  This spawned the idea of creating a bottle that would be distinct from any other and whose design has survived to the present day. The shape of Domaines Ott‘s wine bottles, reminiscent of the round form of old earthenware jars (tinajas) and the elegant lines of amphoras, is today an Ott brand symbol.

Over its four generations, the family continued buying wine domaines.  In 1912, Marcel Ott acquired the Château de Selle Cru Classé.  In 1936, he acquired the Clos Mireille Cru Classé, located close to Fort Brégançon and facing the Mediterranean.  And in 1956, the family acquired the Château Romassan estate in Bandol. Each of the estates is relatively close to the others and all of their vineyards are inevitably influenced, to a greater or lesser degree, by the Mediterranean Sea.

Chateau Romassan Vineyard The Ott family has always worked its vineyards to meticulously high standards and in an environmentally-friendly manner. For this reason, the family is a reference for the production of rosé wines today. Its wines are appreciated around the world in spite, or precisely because, of its small-scale production and exclusivity.

In 2004, the Ott group of wineries became part of the Louis Roederer Champagne group, creating an influential “dynamic duo” within the wine industry. Leveraging the complementary strengths of each company and Louis Roederer’s distribution network, Ott has become the global reference for “Rosé from Provence” not only in the chic cafés of Cannes or Monte Carlo, but also in the Hamptons of New York and the rooftop terraces of Singapore.

Jean-François Ott (right) and Christian Ott (left) In order to make its phenomenal rosé more accessible, yet without sacrificing any of its quality or changing its way of working, the Ott family more recently acquired around 70 hectares of vineyards in Provence, producing grapes of exceptional quality. The result has been the winery’s latest creation, a new wine called “By Ott”, produced from their own grapes, but not associated with its three prestigious chateaux. The Ott family’s obsession with excellence, and the innovation, rigour and discipline that it applies to the production of its wine, are much admired by wine critics and professionals, as shown by the fact that Domaines Ott has been named the “Gold Standard of Rosé” by The Wall Street Journal.

The current generation, the fourth, is headed by cousins Christian and Jean-François Ott, who have managed the wineries since 2009. We are sure that they will pass on, to the generations to come, the values and work ethic required to ensure that the quality of their work is recognized wherever and whenever a Domaines Ott wine is enjoyed.

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