About the winery
Before, there was left-foot braking, mastering four-, front and rear-wheel drive, striving to find the fastest way to take the bends in combination with the perfect angle of attack, and always, always keeping an eye on the clock - making sure I could get from start to finish in the shortest possible time...
Now, there are tranquil vineyards amidst the buzzing sound of grasshoppers, cicadas and bumble bees, the scent of lavender, and always, always - receptive taste buds carefully primed to perfection, to decide at a moment's notice when the wine is at its best.
Dirk Vermeersch, a Belgian from the region of Flanders, is both a true entrepreneur and a man of rich and varied experiences. Starting out in textiles - Dirk initially started out in textiles, owned a number of clothing boutiques. From there he went on to be the concession holder of a Volvo and Maserati dealership, and later became a champion rally and racing car driver from 1973 to 1986, when a serious accident forced his racing career to a grinding halt. His latest enterprise has been the creation of Domaine LePlan in the southern Rhone Valley (France) in 2000, together with his wife, Hélène, daughter Ann and her boyfriend Sebastien.
While Dirk's CV may appear somewhat varied, every activity has been approached with the same stead-fast intensity. His approach to winemaking is yet another good example. Dirk, or 'Mr. 100%' to those who know him well, is a completely self-taught winemaker. Devoid of any preconceived ideas, he threw himself into researching and comparing the various viticultural methods before deciding, with characteristic common sense and humility, which modern techniques to associate with more traditional and organic ones, in order to reach the ideal compromise.
At the same time, Ann enrolled herself at the local school of oenology in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region, in order to learn her trade. Together, with a little help from their neighbours and advice from young and ambitious oenologist Thomas Oui, they won national and international awards and accolades with their first wines from the 2001 vintage. Each vintage since has been no different… To be continued.