Bandol, Provence, France
The story of a couple’s love for wine, Bandol – and life!
Lucie (Lulu) Tempier and Lucien Peyraud not only built the name of one of France’s most iconic estates but also played a central role in establishing one of the world’s most recognisable appellations, Bandol. Theirs is a story of commitment to each other, their estate, their region, their friends – and to the joys of life!
Location: Bandol, Provence, France
Viticultural standards: Organic (certification underway) and Biodynamic practices
Total area under vine: 60 hectares
Interesting fact: Tempier’s wine labels showcase the very recognisable boat illustration, first used in 1951 for the release of the first red wines. The drawing and bottle labels were designed by Lucie’s father, Alphonse Tempier. It represents the departure of tartan boats from the Bandol harbour, carrying wine bottles, in Roman times.
Domaine Tempier wines
The story of Domaine Tempier is, firstly and foremost, that of a couple’s partnership and mutual commitment. In 1936, Lucie Tempier married Lucien Peyraud and together they would build not only a (big!) family but also the dream of becoming winegrowers and winemakers. A dream that would bloom into one of the world’s most iconic names in the world of wine. Lucien spent four years training and gaining experience at other estates before the couple moved to Domaine Tempier.
The Domaine had been owned by the Tempier family since the early nineteenth century. After being, like most French estates, devastated by the phyloxera epidemic in the 1880s, Léonie Tempier (Lucie’s great grandmother) had the vineyard completely replanted on resistant root-stock. She also built a cellar with both wooden and cement vats. Her efforts were, however, thwarted by the First World War and the 1929 crash. A need to diversify production and focus on food crops forced the Tempier family to turn most of the vineyards into apple and peach orchards.
It was only when Lucie and Lucien settled at Domaine Tempier in 1940 that the estate’s legend was truly born.
They weathered the hardship of the second world war while re-establishing their vineyards and getting involved in the group lobbying for the creation of the Bandol appellation. Such efforts eventually led to the creation of the Bandol AOC with a decree issued on November 11th 1941.
In 1943, Lucien bottled his first wine: Tempier’s very first rosé! The first red would be bottled in 1951. In the 1960s, acknowledging the specificity of each plot, they started making their single-vineyard red wines – first La Tourtine and La Migoua and later on Cabassaou.
The development of the domaine and wine range ran in parallel with Lucien’s efforts to establish the Bandol appellation and have its ageing potential fully recognised alongside the flagship French regions (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône, etc) with Mourvèdre as its dominant grape. Lucien and Lucie’s role as ambassadors and lobbyists was as important as their work as winemakers, leaving a unique legacy that shapes the French market to this day.
These achievements were matched by their equally inspirational talent as hosts and entertainers. Lulu’s cooking became a reference of Provençal gastronomy and the events at the Domaine – from dinners, to ‘Paullées’ and even a film festival – attracted winemakers, winelovers, artists and intellectuals, creating a vibrant cultural atmosphere.
Domaine Tempier lives on, with Lulu and Lucien’s children and grandchildren still part of the Board of Directors alongside a dynamic team overseeing management, winemaking and viticulture. They remain committed to the estate’s style and expressiveness while consolidating their quality and sustainability credentials even further, with Tempier now undergoing full biodynamic certification.