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Ardèche, France

Andrea Calek

Stephana & Andrea

Andrea Calek left the Czech Republic and after having travelled from the Rhône to the South of France, he settled in the Ardèche with his partner Stephana Nicolescu, in Alba-la-Romaine, where he bought over some vines from Gérald Oustric du Mazel. Lively and expressive wines, they stand out for their elegant lightness...

Calek Square

Andrea Calek at a glance

Cultivated grapesMerlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier
First vintage2007
Size5 hectares
Our favoritesBlanc, A Toi Nous II

The Czech Bohemian 

Born in the Czech Republic, Andrea discovers that wine can be made by adding sugar to the juice from his grandmother's garden and letting it ferment...

Arriving in France for the first time at the end of the 1980s, when the Iron Curtain fell, Andrea Calek, a former paratrooper seeking to escape military service, falls in love with this country where good wine flows, and will do anything to return to settle there. On his return, he stumbled upon the Gang of Four in Beaujolais, and it was the work of Marcel Lapierre and Guy Breton that inspired him to pursue the path of organic and biodynamic agriculture.

He studied in Carpentras and then in Lyon, then in the Rhône region with the Rohel brothers and in Provence at Domaine Hauvette, where he assisted Dominique in converting the domain to organic farming. Andrea then settled in the Ardèche, where he trained with Gérald Oustric, the local "pope" of natural wines, at Domaine du Mazel. Valvignères is the favourite land of many winemakers, such as Anders Frederik Steen, Sylvain Bock or Oustric, but Andrea decided to establish himself on a neighbouring hill, near Alba La Romaine.

He bought 5 hectares of vineyards from the Oustric family and settled in 2007, finally joined by his partner Stephana Nicolescu in 2016. With his slightly punkish side and his false airs of a Hollywood star, he is a character who knows how to channel all his energy into making sublime juices, without compromise. A fan of the hyper-natural, no additives nor sulphites are tolerated by Andrea in his winemaking, preferring that the climate and the grapes, specific to each vintage, can express themselves freely. He favours carbonic maceration and short maturation periods for vintages that are quickly ready to drink, a bit like a nouveau wine. Then others, more complex, are aged in barrels, to make wines truly crafted for laying down, with amazing potential.

Working mainly with Syrah, Grenache and Merlot for the reds, Calek experiments with other grape varieties such as Viognier and Chardonnay, producing whites of a rare freshness for this southern French climate. Favourable to carbonic maceration, if it does not "mask the terroir and the typicity", Andrea produces true, easy-drinking wines, expressing their place of origin with subtlety and freshness, and with an elegant lightness. Wines to be tasted not for ideology or militancy, they insist, but wines to be drunk because we like them!

Follow the white car…

"You come out of Alba-la-Romaine, then when you see the white car, there it is..." here are the instructions received from Andrea the first time we went to meet him. And indeed, this white car is quite famous! A Citroën CX vestige which serves almost more as a mascot than anything else, and which we've all seen in photos here and there, symbol of a visit to Andrea's house like others photograph the Eiffel Tower when in Paris...

The village of Alba-la-Romaine, France

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