France: Rhône Valley

Around Ampuis and Condrieu

The wines of Côte Rôtie, Condrieu and Saint Joseph
By John Wheeldon

This Guide was last updated on 08 August 2011
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Wine producers to visit

E. Guigal

Address: N86, 69420 Ampuis
Tel: 04 74 56 10 22  Fax: 04 74 56 18 76
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 45:29:17N (45.48796)    Longitude: 4:48:26E (4.80714) 

The big player both in Côte Rôtie and throughout the Rhône, Guigal, both a négociant and a domaine, produces around seven million bottles a year including over 40% of all the Côte Rôtie produced. They flew the flag and kept both Côte Rôtie and Condrieu going through the difficult times in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. They produce five Côte Rôties including their big three of La Mouline, La Landonne and La Turque, some of the most sought after and expensive wines in the world. They are magnificent wines and totally unlike other Côte Rôties. Guigal harvests later than others, uses long cask aging and new oak (100% for 42 months for the big three). This works because there is such a concentration of fruit that the wines can take it. Not many Côte Rôties improve over 25 years, but these do. Even the less exalted cuvées are richer wines than the more usual Burgundian finesse found at other Côte Rôtie producers. There is also a full range of other Rhône wines from both their own vineyards and purchased fruit. A new star is the Hermitage Ex Voto in both white and red which is made from a vineyard purchased from Grippat.

Useful information: Appointments necessary. Open Monday-Friday except public holidays 08.00-12.00 and 14.00-18.00. Small groups (up to 20 people). Visits usually take two hours. Closed August. English spoken.


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