Domaine Milan – Elegant organic wines from Provence

Domaine Milan is a producer of elegant organic wines from Provence and occupies prime real estate in the holiday town of St Remy de Provence. The immaculate vineyards are framed by both suburban estates and the famous nearby Chaîne des Alpilles mountains that provide climatic protection for the vineyards.

Here, the gregarious Henri Milan along with his son Théo crafts elegant wines using no chemicals, no additives, no commercial yeasts and, in some cases, no added sulphur.

These organic wines have been very successful in Australia and we have been working with them and visiting their delightful winery for many years now.

The sulphur-free wines have been very popular and we have ordered as many as we can.

2022 Update: The Milan family has just taken over the viticulture of a 12 hectare plot of 40 year old vines near the town of Orgon in the stunningly beautiful Les Alpilles mountains. The vines include Carignan, Grenache Noir and Syrah . We hope that these extra vines help to shield the family from the problems brought about by increased problems caused by climate change!

Domaine Milan Vin de France Pet’Nat Rosé 2021

This is a dry sparkling wine from the Milan stable with this one usually being fermented from Grenache Noir, Muscat and a little Alicante which were all grown on clay and limestone in their Eyragues vineyard.

This is made in a true pet nat style with no sulphur added as can be seen from the “sans soufre ajouté” text that is prominently displayed on the front label.

It is a light, lingering, savoury drink with excellent length. It has a fruity flavour with hints of watermelon juice coming through.

This wine is very good for matching to a wide range of foods or for just sipping in the sun.

We often, on our trips to France, join the Milan family for lunch or a glass of wine at their winery and cellar door which looks out on the dramatic Alpilles mountains. It is always a relaxing and enjoyable combination of discussion and exploration of the various wines available here.

RRP: $54

Domaine Milan Vin de France Brut Nature Blanc 2019

This is another dry sparkling wine from the Milan family with this one being fermented from Grenache Blanc (70%) and Bourboulenc and Roussanne which were all grown on clay and limestone in the Eyragues vineyard which lies a few kilometres immediately north of the St Remy de Provence.

This is not a pet nat but rather has been made using the méthode traditionelle which is a two stage process very similar to the process used to make Champagne.

This is where a still white wine is made first and then, when the wine is bottled, yeast is added to start a second fermentation. No sugar is added after the fermentation which is why you see the words Non Dosé on the back label.

The juice spent 18 months on lees and was then disgorged and topped up with the same wine.

It is a light, lingering, savoury drink with excellent length. Good for matching to a wide range of foods.


Domaine Milan Vin de France Milan Nouveau 2021

Although it doesn’t appear in the name it does on the label – this is another organic wine from the Milan team which has no added sulphur. This wine has been made over the past couple of years by Henri’s son, Theo.

This wine is 100% Mourvèdre which was fermented in two separate fibreglass tanks which can hold 2750 litres of juice each. One underwent carbonic maceration and the other was fermented traditionally. They were then blended together prior to bottling.

It is interesting to see the treatment of the Mourvèdre grape in this wine. As can be seen from the label, this weighs in at only 11% and is relatively light and smashable.

However just 140 kilometres to the east is the town of Bandol where big, gutsy reds are made from exactly the same grape variety! We know which one we prefer – the lighter, more accessible versions from Theo.

This is a bright, light, lively wine that is drinking very nicely at the moment. It is a delicious wine.


Domaine Milan Luna & Gaïa 2020


The Luna & Gaïa is an extraordinary skin contact wine from the Milan family which, this year, is mainly Vermentino (Rolle) with the remainder comprising Roussanne and Grenache Blanc.

The vines are from the Milan vineyards where they grow in blue clay.

It was pressed and the skins remained with the juice for 20 days in a concrete tank. The juice was then transferred to a fibreglass tank where it settled for one year.

The name from this wine is derived from the two dogs of the domaine. Luna is a white Jack Russel and Gaïa is a black Labrador. The label was created by Roberto Hollis.

It has developed into an amazing wine! It has great length, beautiful soft tannins and a complexity that is very appealing.

This wine will match a wide range of foods, but can also serve very well as an aperitif wine if you want to mull over the complexity and the elegance that a skin contact wine can offer.


Milan Noah Rosé 2020

Noah is a new cuveé from the Milans which is made from locally harvested (and from their own vines) grapes, namely Grenache Noir and Syrah.

This is the first wine we have seen wine with Natalie’s name on the label as well as Theo’s.

These two varieties of grape combine nicely to create a flavoursome yet not too strong rosé which will be perfect for summer drinking.

This is something that everyone will need to get used to, as many of these grape varieties that have been used to produce “big” reds in the past are now being used for lighter reds to match more closely with the prevailing weather conditions being experienced in summer.

RRP: $63

Domaine Milan Haru Rosé 2021

This fine rosé wine was created by Théo Milan from organic Grenache, Syrah and Merlot grapes that thrive in limestone and clay soils in the area around the Provençale town of Remy de Provence.

As with the red wine is this collection that is described below, the influence of Japan on Théo shines through with the name Haru heralding the onset of spring.

The aromas give hints of white flowers and red fruits and on your first sip of this wine you will appreciate the delicate freshness that it exhibits.

Unlike many Provençale rosé wines, this one has both good colour and amazing depth of flavour!

This wine will work with a wide range of foods but can be sipped by itself at any time of day.


Domaine Milan Haru Rouge 2021

This cuvée from the Milan family is a delightful, light red wine made from Syrah, Carignan and Grenache. This one was also made by Theo Milan and the influence of Japan on him shines through with the name Haru heralding the onset of spring.

The grapes went through carbonic maceration for a week before being pressed and then allowed to settle in the tank until Spring when it was bottled.

This treatment has resulted in very light tannins, pleasant acidity and a light colour for a red wine but it is extremely tasty and can be served slightly chilled.

Théo is definitely showing that he has a deft touch with red wines and is not afraid to treat them very gently to produce light, expressive wines that are perfect for drinking at any time of the year and can even be slightly chilled when serving, especially in Australia’s oppressive summer heat.


Henri Milan IGP Alpilles Kumo Rouge 2018


In 2018 there was not enough Grenache available from the vineyard that is usually used to create the Milan S&X cuvée, so Théo invented a new cuvée to use the grapes that did survive.

These grapes were grown in clay and limestone soils and the juice was fermented and matured in large, old oak barrels as well as concrete tanks.

The result is a very fresh, light yet quite sophisticated and complex red wine that can be sipped chilled or enjoyed throughout a meal.

Once again, the Japanese influence on the winemaker, Theo Milan, is clear with Kumo being Japanese for cloud, reflecting the lightness of the wine.

And, by the way, notice that this wine is somewhat rare as it takes on the small appellation of IGP Alpilles that is named after the striking mountains that you can see in the medium distance from the Milan’s winery.


Henri Milan Reynard Rebels 2021

This delightful cuvée is made from purchased grapes from a friend who tends his vines biodynamically. Their friend had always sold to the local co-op and was paid the same price as others got for their inferior non-organic grapes.

When the Milan family asked if they could buy his Merlot and Carignan Mr Reynard rebelled and said yes.

The 2021 vintage produced a very light and delicate wine with fresh tannins and ripe red and blue fruits which was right in line with the style of wine they were after.

This is a style of wine that is becoming more eagerly sought-after, especially for the higher temperatures we are experiencing in Australia in summer now.

Lighter red wines can be made by reducing the length of time the skins are kept on the juice or by mixing the red wine with the juice from some white grapes.


Henri Milan Elliott Rouge 2017

Elliott is the charming son of Théo and Natalie who now has the honour of having a cuvée named after him.

This wine is made from old vines of Syrah and Grenache planted 50 years ago in the Milan’s Eyragues vineyard.

These vines have definitely reached their peak with the grapes being perfect and having a great depth of flavour benefitting from their prolonged time being farmed organically and biodynamically.

The juice was matured in an large old troconic foudre of a friend Mr Guilbert, but they had to take the juice to his cave because the foudre was too big to fit through the doors at the Milan’s winery. The wine was matured in the foudre for two years.

A little sulphur was added to this wine before bottling, although that is becoming unnecessary for most of the Milan wines as they learn more about how to handle wines so that they don’t need to use sulphites in their wine.


Domaine Milan Ma Terre Rosé 2018

The Ma Terre Rosé is a light but very tasty rosé wine that has been made from Syrah and Cinsault. It was macerated on skins for approximately three days to develop the colour and the flavour without getting too much extraction.

There is only a tiny amount of this wine available but it is well worth seeking out.


Domaine Milan Sans Soufre Ajouté Rosé 2014

Milan Sans Souffre

Each year recently, Henri Milan has crafted a very interesting rosé wine by direct pressing of Mourvedre, Syrah and Grenache. The rosé is also a wine with no added sulphur.

It has a vibrant colour for a Provencal rose and a long lingering flavour in the mouth. It is perfect for drinking with a meal or as an aperitif.

This is an exceptional rosé of great character for which there was only a tiny allocation for Australia this year.

This wine is not filtered and there are sufficient deposits still in the bottle to enable lava light comparisons. Don’t even think about ordering it if you expect your rosés to be crystal clear.


Domaine Milan Sans Soufre Ajouté Rouge 2015

Milan Sans Souffre

The name of this wine gives you a clue about how it was made. In French the words ‘Sans Soufre Ajouté’ means no added sulphur. This wine has not had sulphur added to the bottle. The only sulphur in it is naturally occurring sulphur which is in miniscule quantities.

The wine has travelled well to Australia and displays a liveliness and freshness that is typical of naturally-made wines that have not had sulphur added. This is made using the same technique as the Domaine Milan above, with the grape varieties Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre and it only spends 8 months in old barriques.

No filtration or fining has been applied to this wine and only indigenous yeasts have been used to ferment the grapes. It is only 12.5% alcohol. This is a great wine for people who have developed a reaction to sulphur or for those addicted to the freshness of natural wines.


Domaine Milan Le Papillon Sans Soufre Ajouté Blanc 2019

Milan Sans Souffre

The name of this wine gives you a clue about how it was made. In French the words ‘Sans Soufre Ajouté’ means no added sulphur. This wine has not had sulphur added to the bottle. The only sulphur in it is naturally occurring sulphur which is in miniscule quantities.

The wine has travelled well to Australia and displays a liveliness and freshness that is typical of naturally-made wines that have not had sulphur added.

The 2019 vintage is a particularly fine example of this blended wine. This vintage sees Grenache Blanc, Rolle (the local name for Vermentino), Roussanne and Marsanne used in the blend. The wine was kept on lees in old barriques for 5 months. This is a beautiful wine that is fresh and lively now but will continue to change character and improve well into the future.

No filtration or fining has been applied to this wine. This is a great wine for people who have developed a reaction to sulphur.


Domaine Milan Le Vallon 2020

Le Vallon is a lively red wine that has only recently been released. It is made from grapes picked from vines that were planted in 1997 in a vineyard that is littered with limestone rocks dotted among red clay.

The wine is made from Grenache, Syrah and Niellucio which was only macerated on skins for 5 days. The wine spent 12 months maturing in a concrete tank before being bottled.

It is somewhat surprising to find a red Italian/Corsican grape variety (ie Niellucio aka Sangiovese) thriving in the western part of Provence, however the Milan family is well known for their curiosity about grapes and their potential in their terroir.

This is a delightful wine that has notes of stone fruit and spices from the garrigue.


Domaine Milan Vin de France Le S&X Rouge 2018

Unusually for Domaine Milan, this red wine is made from 100% Grenache from an idea of Sebastien Xavier who has overseen the winery here for a number of years. The vines from which the Grenache was manually picked were at least 25 years old.

After fermentation with natural yeasts, the wine was matured in old wooden barriques for a period of 12 months.

This is a beautiful expression of Grenache which will age very gracefully for up to fifteen years.


Domaine Milan Vin de France Le Grand Blanc 2016


Domaine Milan’s Le Grand Blanc is a staff favourite. It is an intense, elegant, refined, gorgeous white wine.

British wine writer Jancis Robinson in an article entitled ‘A progress report on biodynamic wines in France’ summed it up in these words:

While it’s just a humble Vin de Table, this outclasses many a White Hermitage. It immediately commands attention with its pale gold sheen. An amazingly complex nose is on offer, spice notes come through first before the floral character – broom flowers and even a hint of lavender as it opened up. The complexity continues on the palate, rich and expressive, retaining a fresh character and nerve that underlines a lovely creaminess. Very long indeed, with a slightly bitter finish. This is a very “intellectual” wine; it makes you think and yet is wonderfully enjoyable too. A very long life ahead. Superb.

This vintage sees Grenache Blanc, Rolle (the local name for Vermentino), Roussanne, Chardonnay and Muscat à Petit Grains used in the blend. All the varieties, from vines planted in the 1990s are direct pressed and fermented together in a large concrete tank. They are then aged, partly in foudre and partly barrel and, finally, more time in concrete tank. This is a beautiful wine that is fresh and lively now but will continue to change character and improve well into the future.


Domaine Milan Vin de Table La Carrée Roussanne 2019

The La Carrée is a refined, elegant, complex wine that shows the wonderful characteristics of the Roussanne grape in its best light.

It is labelled as a Vin de France because white wines made from 100% Roussanne are not permitted in the Les Baux de Provence appellation.

The vines were planted in 1991 on blue clay soil. The grapes are direct pressed and the wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in  barrel.

No filtration or fining is used to preserve the flavour of this special wine. This wine will keep for a long time and continue to improve in the bottle.  We only have a small supply of this sought-after wine as only 1000 bottles are produced.

RRP: $107 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Milan Le Premier Pinot Noir 2020

Our previous visit to Provence was in 2019 which we remember was very dry and very hot. In fact, the Milan vineyards were subjected to 24 hours where it was 46 degrees Celsius accompanied by strong winds.

As a result, they lost 30% of the fruit due to the heat. They therefore picked the Pinot Noir earlier than normal to maintain a backbone of acidity to balance the rich ripe fruit.

As with all the other vintages of Pinot Noir, this wine was macerated as whole clusters and fermented in tank before being aged in oak for 1 year.

Domaine Milan says “this wine has bright racy acidity and freshness, herbal notes, medium tannins with flavours of strawberry jam and herbal tea“.

This parcel of Pinot Noir is always the first one harvested.

RRP: $125 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Milan Vin de France Le Jardin 2017


Henri Milan planted Merlot in his idyllic vineyards that crouch below the beautiful Alpilles mountains close to the picture postcard village of Saint Remy de Provence. His aim is to produce a local version of the famous Pétrus from Bordeaux!

This wine, called Le Jardin, is made from 100% Merlot grapes and is matured in 90% old oak barrels and 10% new oak. Henri believes passionately that his vineyards can eventually produce a wine to match that of its western rival. There is everything going for it – excellent soils, regulated wind, mountain backdrop providing protection – many of the positives lacking in Bordeaux!

Production is small with only 2500 bottles made each year.

RRP: $107 for 2017 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Milan Clos Milan Rouge 2019


The Clos Milan is Henri Milan’s premium red wine made from 75% Grenache and 25% Shiraz (Syrah). This vintage also has a splash of Mondeuse which is growing in the vineyard in front of Henri”s house.

The grapes come from vines that are at least 42 years old that grow in Quaternary sands and gravels. The combination of the interesting minerality of the soils and the organic treatment of the vines means that they are able to absorb more minerals from the soils and transmit them to the grapes.

The grapes are destemmed and fermented in cement tanks for about three weeks then aged in old 225 litre barriques. The result is an elegant, perfumed, smooth, luscious wine that can be drunk now or will age further.

Only tiny quantities of this wine are made.