The Only American-Owned Winery In The Cotes Du Rhone; Specializing In Hand-Crafted Red And Rose Rhone Valley Wines

After more than 20 years of making wine, first as an amateur and then as a professional winemaker/owner, we have made the decision to move on from the winemaking business. It has been a glorious 15 years of making and sharing our wines from the Cotes du Rhone and Chateauneuf-du-Pape with all of you. I want to thank you, our loyal customers, for your continued support over the years. It has been a great adventure and I wouldn’t change a thing.

And the adventure continues. We are still offering Tours of the Rhone Valley wine region. Please visit our website:

If you find yourself coming to our area, please be sure to drop us a note. We’d be happy to welcome you to the neighborhood.


The Domaine

Mas de la Lionne, originally built in the 1930’s as a farmhouse and peach orchard, was converted into a wine domain in the mid-50’s. It produced outstanding Cotes du Rhone red and rose wines ever since.

Less than a stone’s throw from the town of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, La Lionne (“The Lioness”) derives its name from the area (quartier) of the town of Sorgues in which it is located. Local town lore explains that this portion of the town was so-named in honor of a lioness which escaped from a traveling circus and lived in the woods here at the turn of the 20th century.

About Mas de la Lionne

In the summer of 2008 I made a major life change. I retired from the aerospace industry, sold my house, and moved from Seattle to France to make wine. I became the new owner of Mas de la Lionne, a small wine domaine in the Cotes du Rhone, which produced red and rose wines.

As an American winemaker living in the Cotes du Rhone, I brought a unique perspective to understanding the region, its wines, the winemakers and the Provencal life. And I also brought a unique palate to the making of the wines from the grapes of the region.

This all began when my wife Debbie and I took our first “Wine Trip” to France in 1995. It was then that we both discovered a real love for the south of France and more specifically the southern Rhone valley. We couldn’t get enough, and so for the next 8 years we continued our pilgrimages to the region, either on our own or “dragging” friends along. But always dreaming about the one day we might just try to get here permanently.

At the same time, I decided to take up winemaking as a hobby. My first vintage was in 2001, making a small quantity in my garage to gain a better understanding of the entire wine-making process. I found I had some aptitude for it and decided to see if I could actually make it and sell it for “real “–and founded GRAVES CELLARS in Seattle in 2005, making Walla Walla Valley Syrahs.

In 2006 I engaged (via the internet) with a local vineyard real estate agent to see if I could make it come true. After more than a year, in November of 2007, I got an email from the agent with a new listing. It was Mas de la Lionne; a wine domaine with a vineyard (10 acres), working winery with all the equipment, and a house… everything on my list of requirements.

My first day in the new adventure turned out to be Independence Day – 14 July. I jumped immediately into the farming, harvesting and winemaking tasks leading to the first release – Cotes du Rhone 2008 – from Mas de la Lionne under new ownership.

In 2011 the domain transitioned from an agricultural enterprise to a negociant business. This change allowed the winery to produce wines from grapes/juice sourced from other growers – either within the Cotes du Rhone or other appellations. With this increased flexibility, Mas de la Lionne now had the ability to offer wines from all the surrounding appellations, such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Our Wines

All the wines at Mas de la Lionne were hand-crafted, limited production wines; from the Cotes du Rhone red and rose to the award-winning wines: the ‘Old Vines’ Ombre du Chateau and our grandest cuvee, Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Our commitment was to allow the terroir to show through to the finished wine by not interfering during the winemaking process. Only pre-used (2 years) oak barrels were employed for ageing when the wine warranted it, to ensure that the fruit came forward – not the wood. This minimalist approach yielded wines that were true to their source.

The importing of our wines into the US concluded when our partnership with our US importer/distributor terminated in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Contact Mas de la Lionne

Address: 948 Chemin de la Lionne. 84700 Sorgues, France (Map & Directions)

Tele: +04 90 39 50 32 | Fax: +04 88 56 53 50