The Campdumy estate (meaning wine harvest fields in old Provençal) is located on the Via Aurelia. A number of Roman remains bear witness to its deep historical roots.
A milestone dating back to Nero’s reign (58 A.D.) was found on the property, and is currently on display in our tasting cellar. A translation of the Latin text is available.
Philémon Gavoty acquired the property in 1806.
Eight generations have followed in his footsteps. André Gavoty was a literary journalist at the “Revue des Deux Mondes”, and handed over control of the estate to his nephew Pierre (1925-2006) in 1960.
Bernard Gavoty (1906-1980) was a music critic at the “Le Figaro” newspaper, writing under the pseudonym Clarendon. He inherited the Petit Campdumy estate, and went into business with Pierre to organize joint commercialization of wines from both estates: Petit Campdumy and Grand Campdumy.
When Bernard passed away in 1980, the Gavoty estate consisted of two properties of 50 hectares each. The strategic decision was taken to commercialize the estate’s wines via a traditional network of restaurants, cellars, business and individual customers. In 1997 the two properties separated (Bernard’s was sold off) and so production went down to less than 50 hectares.
Throughout this period, Pierre and Bernard made every effort to defend this piece of land; not only by enabling several municipalities including Cabasse to be incorporated into the Côtes de Provence appellation, but also by focusing on building the value of the estate’s image. They showed remarkable vision at a time when the appellation was still to take more than 20 years to shake off its chains.
One person from the farming community played a key role in the life of the estate from 1940 to 1980: Nicodem Dotto. He was the estate manager and experienced the huge culture shock of changing from horse-drawn ploughs to motorization, with the arrival of the first tractors.
Starting in 1985 Roselyne Gavoty took charge of the wine-making process, and gave new commercial impetus to the estate. In 2001, she took over management of the entire operation, with the help of her husband Hervé
Nico Dotto: “the first ‘wine-maker’s’ tractor arrived on the Campdumy estate in 1947 or 48. It was a ‘centaur’ that we bought from the American army surplus (originally used to tow aircraft), and we continued to use it until 1980!” The old-timers told him how the cellar was enlarged in 1895 – by bringing in beams 15 meters long, which had to be dragged by horses from the Carnoules railway station 20 km away.
[ One of the oldest estates in Provence, run by the same family since 1806, extremely rare nowadays!]