Located in Gigondas and created in 1988 by Philippe Cartoux, Domaine des Espieres produced its first vintage after three years, and sold the juice to negociants for another five, until it was good enough to bear the winery's crest. Immediately, it found a market at such eateries as The Ritz and Le Crillon, and soon, it developed an international following.
A native to Gigondas, whose grandparents had run a winery since 1879, Cartoux owns 14ha in Gigondas, Sablet, and Violes. In the process of converting all of its vines to organic, Domaine des Espieres practices dense planting, with 5400 vines/ha, as opposed to the average for the area, which is 3500. With such intense fruit concentration, Cartoux belongs to the Modern School of young southern Rhone growers, who strive to make wines that represent the area's expected aromas, taste, and terroir. However, instead of the region's typically required 5-6 years of aging, the modern wines can be consumed young, in just a year or two.