Once upon a time…
The history of Domaine de Cala dates back to the 14th century. At the time, it was known as Domaine de Pourraques, named after the Provençal word for the small white narcissus flowers that carpeted the land. It was only much later (after crossing paths with a poultry-farming prince and a Polish countess) that wine began to be grown on the estate. The original vineyard covered a mere 25 hectares and produced a rosé which was mainly sold in bulk.
In 2015, Chef Joachim Splichal bought the property and renamed in Domaine de Cala, in reference to the elegant chalice-shaped calla lily. This bon vivant has always loved Provence. And its cuisine. Here, he has doffed his chef’s hat and rolled up his sleeves to endow his land with all the lustre and stature of a 21st century winery. At the same time, he has preserved its authenticity and its charm. These days, more than 40 hectares of grapevines thrive on the hillside, growing to the tune of the cicadas and the birds. And the white, red and rosé wines patiently mature in the storehouse, keeping time with the harvests.
Open since 2015,
Domaine de Cala has retained the patina of its history.
« Although Domaine de Cala is still young, its identity is firmly established.
As is its quality »
A PROPERTY STEEPED IN HISTORY
It all began around 1300… The marshland surrounding Brignoles was entrusted to the inhabitants to cultivate wheat and grapes. Domaine de Pourraques was born!
15TH AND 16TH CENTURIES
From 1450 to 1587, a series of plagues ravages Provence. The sick are isolated in buildings at the entrance to the property, the remnants of which are still referred to as “the hospital” today.
In 1655, a coaching inn serves as a resting place for travellers and their steeds. The property encompasses 150 hectares of oak and pine trees, scrubland, wheat… and a few blocks of grapevines.
A country house is added to the estate, as the owner’s residence. The old coaching inn provides room and board to farmers working the land.
The property, surrounded by nature, becomes a winery. At this point, the vineyard spans 25 hectares and produces bulk rosé wine.
Chef Joachim Splichal buys the property and renames it Domaine de Cala.
« In the kitchen and in the vineyard, the watchword
is the same: quality. »
Owner of Domaine de Cala and chef
After graduating from a school of hospitality in Switzerland, Joachim Splichal earned his stripes at some of the most prestigious restaurants on the French Riviera: La Bonne Auberge in Antibes, L’Oasis in La Napoule and Le Chantecler at Le Negresco hotel in Nice (alongside Chef Jacques Maximin). Already, wine had an important role to play. And a dish worthy of the word is inconceivable without a nice bottle of wine in the middle of the table. His creative, talented cuisine soon earned him two Michelin stars. At the age of 26, the gastronomic prodigy dreamed big. And far… He set his sights on the American dream and opened the famous Patina in Los Angeles in 1989, the first in a long line of restaurants that would go on to delight all of Hollywood, garner him an invitation to the White House and earn him yet another Michelin star. His culinary creations went around the world and back, as he won award after award in honour of his exemplary career. In 2015, Joachim Splichal visited a place that would change the course of his life: Domaine de Pourraques.
The chef has always had a visceral attachment to Provence, where he continues to cultivate his friendships with some of the biggest names in French fine dining like Alain Ducasse and Joachim’s mentor Jacques Maximin.
As he puts it, “France is a part of my life”. Surrounded by a team of wine enthusiasts and assisted by his sons Stéphane and Nicolas, he restructured the vineyard and enhanced its production. The quality of the rosé was boosted, while white and red made waves with their appearance at the winery. A wine cellar was built, and the country house, La Bastide, was completely renovated. In recognition of its rebirth, Pourraques was rebaptized Domaine de Cala.
Joachim Splichal is an unconditional fan of french wine.
A TRIBUTE TO SIMPLICITY
« I grew up in a small village in Germany. My parents were innkeepers. They passed on their taste for nice things and hospitality to me. As a child, I loved to present wines to guests! The idea of having a winery has been a dream of mine for quite some time… And the choice of Provence is no coincidence. Although I have worked a lot in Canada, Sweden, Holland, Switzerland and the United States, where I opened many restaurants, I owe my first two Michelin stars to the South of France, to Le Chantecler, the restaurant at the hotel Le Negresco, alongside my friend Jacques Maximin! But also, I love the weather, the accent and the joie de vivre of Provençal people, the sun-drenched vegetables… and the famous rosé! As for the property, it was quite simply love at first sight. »
Cala wines, the fruit of a passion for all things culinary.
My favourite dish : Artichokes à la barigoule, beef cheek ravioli and Provençal stuffed vegetables (that’s a hard question!)
My favourite wine : Rosé from Provence (served with that great southern accent!)
My favourite fruit : Vineyard peaches (they’re fantastic in chocolate mendiants)
My favourite vegetable : The elegant courgette flower (my friend Jacques Maximin’s signature dish)
My favourite culinary creation : Sardines à la niçoise (poached in rosé wine with an olive oil sauce)
My greatest source of satisfaction : Running the winery as a family, with my sons Stéphane and Nicolas