Celebrate Mother's Day with Joachim Splichal's Rockfish "A Day in Nice" and Domaine de Cala Rosé

What do you get when a famous chef: (a) purchases vineyards in the South of France; (b) collaborates with a world-renowned winery consultant; (c) hires an expert winemaker? You get some damn good Provence rosé!


Domaine de Cala was founded in 2015 by chef Joachim Splichal who dreamt of returning to Provence, the place where he learned to cook. The picturesque wine estate is located in the medieval town of Brignoles, a quick 35 miles from the coastal town of Saint-Tropez. But the name “Cala” is an homage to Los Angeles, California, where his career has flourished.

Over the years, Splichal has earned numerous culinary distinctions, including induction into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. Today, Splichal and business partner Nick Valenti oversee the Patina Restaurant Group, an empire of several award-winning restaurants across the United States.

In 2014, while on vacation in Saint-Tropez, Splichal found an estate in the heart of Provence that had an existing winery for sale on the property. He made an offer on the spot, and in 2015 Domaine de Cala was created, with his twin sons as partners.

Splichal’s first step towards creating a top-notch winery was to bring in renowned French wine consultant, Stéphane Derenoncourt, who has over 35 years experience in viticulture and winemaking. The next step was to add winemaker and rosé specialist Bruno Tringali to the team and, since the 2016 vintage, the Domaine de Cala rosés have been wowing rosé lovers everywhere.


In a recent article on Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher wrote about the Domaine de Cala Rosé 2018 (41% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 15% Syrah, 6% Rolle, 1% Grenache Blanc, 1% Carignan, 1% Cabernet): “The taste of this dry wine is surprisingly rich, with honeydew melon-like lusciousness, and grapefruit acidity. The finish is long, lovely, and tart. Winemaker Bruno Tringali finds a remarkable balance of easy-drinkability and serious character.” The winery also produces a three-varietal, oak barrel-aged Prestige blend.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with Domaine de Cala Rosé and one of Joachim’s favorite recipes, Rockfish “A Day In Nice,” a dish that will transport you to the sun-filled blue skies and rolling, lavender-scented hills of Provence.

Bon Appétit!

4 servings



4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large fennel bulb, outer layer removed and julienned

sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 ripe plum tomatoes

1/3 cup niçoise olives, pitted and halved

1 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade

1 tablespoon shallots, minced

1/2 teaspoon white pepper, coarsely cracked

1) Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Add fennel and sauté until soft (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, cover and reserve.

2) Cut a little cross in the back of each tomato. Blanch tomatoes in boiling salted water for 15 seconds and chill in ice water rapidly. When chilled, remove from water and peel, seed and dice tomatoes.

2) Combine tomatoes, olives, basil, shallots, remaining oil, and white pepper in nonreactive bowl; reserve.


8 medium sun-dried tomatoes

2 cups hot water

4 (6oz.) filets of rockfish or other white flaky fish, like red snapper or flounder

1) Combine sun-dried tomatoes and water in nonreactive bowl and soak 20 minutes. Squeeze out excess water. Halve tomatoes and reserve.

2. Lay the 4 rockfish fillets on a cutting board with large ends at top. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place a sun-dried tomato half close to the small end of each. Roll fillets up tightly and secure with a toothpick; reserve.

3. Place saucepan of water over medium heat; put steamer rack inside. Place fish on rack. Cover and cook until just firm. Remove from heat and reserve.


4 1/4”-thick slices country-style white bread

4 sprigs fennel fronds

1 tablespoon pale celery leaves

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1) Toast bread to golden brown; cool.

2) Reheat fennel over low heat.

3) To serve, place a slice of toast in the center of each warm plate. Mound fennel on top of each slice. Remove toothpicks from fish rolls and balance fish on top of each fennel mound. Spoon tomato/olive mixture around fish and garnish with fennel fronds, celery leaves, and parsley. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes and Domaine de Cala Rosé.