The story began with a Swiss family who fell in love with the land of Armagnac, in Gers, Gascony. At the turn of the century, Paul and Marguerite Gessler moved to Joÿ. Contrary to what one might think, Joÿ is the name of the vineyard. Having inherited this love from their parents, André and Véronique Gessler, then their sons Olivier and Roland, became aware of the rich soils and favourable exposure of some of the parcels. They gradually abandoned polyculture in order to devote a large portion of the estate to vine-growing. They focused on their love of white grape varieties in particular. Then they embarked on a quality-oriented process to produce generous, modern and refined Côtes de Gascogne wines, as well as a carefully selected range of supple and fruity Bas-Armagnacs. Today, the 4th generation is at work in the form of Vanessa and Kévin Gessler, Olivier’s daughter and son, who keep their love for this terroir alive.
Joÿ is above all a family vineyard with values and skills passed on down the generations. The Gessler Family has managed to create a team spirit and a real sense of dynamism on a daily basis.
Olivier / Kevin / Vanessa / Jacqueline / Béatrice / Daniel / Jean-Michel / Martine / Pierre / Daniel / Jean-Paul / Jérôme / Tom / Jean-Charles / Bruno / Carole
Located at the heart of Gascony, more specifically in the municipality of Panjas (Gers), the Domaine works 170 hectares of vines (of which 10% are dedicated to armagnac distillation) in a typical Bas Armagnac terroir. It is mainly composed of clay-silica soils and rough sand (silt-silica). Most of the parcels benefit from a southern exposure which encourages the grapes’ natural development, resulting in fruity and aromatic wines.
The Domaine de Joÿ is located in an oceanic climate, with rain making our wines fresh and aromatic, and a Pyrenean influence at the end of the season helping the grapes to mature.
We have been working the vines for over 15 years. Our white wines are made from ten or so typically Gascon grape varieties: Colombard, Ugni Blanc and Gros Manseng. They account for most of the vineyard.
Our red and rosé wines are produced from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Tannat grapes. For our armagnac distillation, 3 grape varieties have pride of place: Ugni Blanc, Bacco and Folle Blanche, which reveal supple and elegant armagnacs.
The grapes are harvested when mature from September to mid-October, and carefully protected during the process. There are several steps involved in the wine-making process: pellicular maceration, pneumatic pressing, low temperature fermentation, ageing on fine lees, blending of grape varieties, conservation in vats and filtration of the blends.
Our armagnacs are distilled on the estate with mastery and the utmost respect for the product. A traditional still is used to make supple and elegant armagnacs. The armagnac is then aged in locally sourced oak casks, where the alcohol and wood bestow noble status on this amber elixir.
The rest is a matter of time!
Having honed its skills for the last 4 generations, Domaine de Joÿ committed itself to “Sustainable Agriculture” in 2005 in order to turn respect for the environment into a business advantage. Following on from this, we wanted to take things even further. In 2019, the vineyard earned “High Environmental Value Level 3” certification. This certification is designed to promote products made by agricultural businesses that make a voluntary commitment to respect biodiversity, phytosanitary strategy, fertilisation management and water resources.