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