Images of Brézème and Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban

Officially these are AOC Côtes-du-Rhône vineyard areas, but use of the names either Brézème or Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban are tolerated on labels.

 

Looking south-east over the gently sloping clay limestone vineyards of Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban on the west bank of the Rhône

 

Looking west along the foot of the limestone hill of Brézème on the east bank of the Rhône

 

Charles Helfenbein

 

There are two other sub-regions within Brézème after the hill of Brézème itself, both of which have pebbly sand soils: Le David and La Rolière (pictured, looking north towards Saint-Péray on the other side of the Rhône)

 

Mathieu Piedade, winemaker at Château la Rolière, with the mountain range of Les Trois Becs dimly visible in the background to the left

 

Yves Mengin of Domaine des Quatre Cerises, who started replanting the hill of Brézème after it had largely been abandoned. His project began in 1984, and his first vintage was 1998.

 

Domaine des Quatre Cerises rouge


Images of Saint-Péray

Standing in the southern part of the appellation on granite vineyards, looking north-east towards the Rhône

 

Looking east towards the Montagne de Crussol, a long ridge of limestone with the Rhône flowing behind it. An exceptional terroir, increasingly covered in housing rather than vineyards.

 

Sandy granitic soils on flatter vineyards of Saint-Péray

 

Fabrice Gripa of Domaine Bernard Gripa in front of his top vineyard 'Les Figuiers', planted by his grandfather

 

Tasting some older vintages with Fabrice, including this 1997 Les Figuiers which still held some interest and pleasure

 


Images of Château-Grillet

Château-Grillet is the name of the producer, a property with its own appellation to the south-west of Condrieu. It's surrounded here by its vineyards.

 

The oldest part of the building dates back to 1760

 

The property is comprised of several parts of different ages

 

The vineyards, all Viognier, rise up in a vertiginous amphitheatre behind the property

 

The upper triangular section in this photo was recently acquired by Château-Grillet and is used for their new Condrieu 'Carthery' (the buildings pictured don't belong to them)

 

Technical director Jaeok Cramette

 

They also own some of the east-facing vineyards visible along the road to the left

 

The new extension of 0.25 hectares (rootstocks planted in 2016) overlooking the Rhône

 

Some old bottles

 


Images of Saint-Joseph

The pin shows the centre of the appellation, which stretches from the south of Condrieu to beyond Saint-Péray

 

Looking north from lieu-dit Le Paradis in the south of the appellation... The pyramid-shaped hillside to the left is lieu-dit Saint Joseph (which gives its name to the appellation). In the foreground, pruned canes are burnt in lieu-dit Les Oliviers. In the background is the hill of Hermitage rising up beyond the town of Tain L'Hermitage; you can just make out the white rectangular sign at the top.

 

Domaine Marsanne, also in the south of the appellation

 

Jean Gonon of Domaine Gonon in the south of the appellation on the right; Pierre Clape of Domaine Clape in Cornas on the left (taken in 2016).

 

Paul Estève of Domaine des Miquettes (taken in 2014).

 

A rare outcrop of Saint-Joseph limestone - lieu-dit Les Royes, Domaine Courbis

 

South-facing vineyards of Limony, towards the northern end of the appellation

 

South-facing vineyards of Chavanay, the far northern part of the appellation

 

Lionel Faury of Domaine Faury in Chavanay

 

Past master: Jean-Louis Grippat's first vintage was 1956. He retired in 2001 after selling his Saint-Joseph and Hermitage vineyards to Guigal.

 


Images of Condrieu

 

Rémi Niero in lieu-dit La Roncharde

 

Lieu-dit La Roncharde looking south-west towards lieu-dit Côte Bonnette

 

Tasting older vintages with Christine Vernay of Domaine Georges Vernay

 

Lieu-dit Coteau de Vernon

 

François Villard

 

Once common, now rare - a sweet Condrieu, this one made by Xavier Gérard

 


Images of Seyssuel

 

Seyssuel is a little further north than Côte-Rôtie, on the other side of the river around the city of Vienne. It is currently within the IGP Collines Rhodaniennes growing area, but there are hopes to promote it quickly to a new Northern Rhône Cru.

 

South-facing schist slopes with Vienne in the background

 

Pierre Gaillard, part-owner of négociant Les Vins de Vienne

 

A selection of Seyssuel wines - prices are already similar to Côte-Rôtie

 


Images of Côte-Rôtie

Dark schist over pale gneiss in lieu-dit La Côte Brune

 

Looking north-east: lieu-dit Fongeant is the central slope, that becomes lieu-dit La Côte Brune further down

 

The east-facing slope of lieu-dit La Côte Brune

 

Jean-Paul Jamet in front of his parcel of lieu-dit La Côte Brune

 

Lieu-dit La Landonne faces the river on a very steep slope, Ampuis in the background

 

Plentiful dark red iron oxide colouring in the schist of lieu-dit La Landonne

 

Schist on the left, gneiss on the right

 

Decomposed granitic sands, found at the far south of Côte-Rôtie near Condrieu

 

Pierre-Jean Villa

 

Pierre Rostaing

 

Yves Gangloff

 

Agnès Levet

 

Various vintages of La Péroline, Domaine Levet

 

An impromptu still life in the Guigal cellar

 

Syrah and Viognier cofermenting at Domaine de Monteillet

 

Ampuis at dusk

 


Images of Gadagne

Classic galet roulé soils of Gadagne

 

Xavier Anglès of Domaine du Bois de Saint Jean with a stone borne papale once used by the Avignon Popes to claim ownership of a vineyard

 

The village's full name is Châteauneuf de Gadagne, but AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape (only 15km away) insisted only they should use the word 'Châteauneuf' on the label.

 

Terroir is similar to Chateauneuf-du-Pape; the bruyère à Balaï only grows in these two places

 

Céline and Sylvain Boussier of Domaine de la Chapelle

 


Images of Rochegude

The Château de Rochegude in the heart of the village

 

Sandy soils of Rochegude near the Massif d'Uchaux

 

Domaine du Gourget

 

Vincent Baumet with his old bushvines on Rochegude garrigues terroir, closer to Suze-la-Rousse

 

Inside the Château de Rochegude


Images of Signargues

 

The galets roulés of Signargues, the same deposits as those found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape

 

They go on for ever

 

Jean-Marie Granier of Les Vignerons d'Estézargues, one of the best cave co-operatives in the Rhône

 

Labels, old and new (two single estate bottlings from Les Vignerons d'Estézargues in the foreground)

 

Francis Fabre of Domaine des Romarins and president of the appellation. In the background, the village of Domazan is to your left, Estézargues to your right.

 

Bundle of grubbed up vines on the plateau of Signargues. Trunk diseases such as esca are a problem here, as they are throughout the region

 

Cave co-operative Les Vignerons du Castellas