Wine Region: Rhone Valley - France
Grape: Syrah, Viognier.
Tasting notes: The ‘Blonde du Seigneur’ is a contrast to the ‘Maison Rouge’ and highlights the violet perfumed and more elegant side of Côte-Rôtie. The average age of the vines is 30 years old. For the winemaking, the grapes are fermented in stainless steel vats to preserve the delicate fruit aromas. They blend in 8% Viognier which is what gives the wine a sense of softness. Then, the wine is aged for a minimum of 18 months in barrel of which 25% of the barrels are new. Annual production is approximately 15,000 bottles per year.
About the winery: Domaine Georges Vernay is one of the oldest and most famous estates in Condrieu. Georges highly contributed to the reintroduction of Viognier on the hillsides of the region when in 1960’s the appellation used to cover only 8 hectares.
Today the domaine is managed by Georges’ daughter Christine and her husband Paul. The vineyard covers 8 hectares in Condrieu, 2.5 hectares in Côte-Rôtie and 1.5 hectares in Saint-Joseph and the rest being located in IGP Collines Rhôdaniennes and Côtes-du-Rhône. Their Condrieu are made from vineyards in the heart of the appellation and all express the purest; most restrained expression of the Viognier grape.
For over 20 years, Christine Vernay has used organic farming methods. Considering herself as the custodian of a land for which she is responsible for caring, she has long been committed to organic farming, long before it was fashionable or urgent to do so. She has now successfully demonstrated that, while it is difficult to work the steeply sloping vineyards using organic farming, it is not impossible.
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