Description 1 of 2

Condrieu (From the French coin de ruisseau meaning "corner of the brook") is a French wine-growing Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) located in the northern Rhône wine, near Vienne and to the south of the Côte-Rôtie AOC. The vineyards are situated in the seven communes of Limony, Chavanay, Malleval, Saint-Michel-sur-Rhône, Saint-Pierre-de Boeuf, Vérin, and Condrieu in the French departments of Ardèche, Rhône and Loire on the steep slopes of the foothills of the Massif Central on the right bank of the Rhône river. The four southernmost communes can also produce wine under the Saint-Joseph AOC. The wines made in this AOC are exclusively white, from the Viognier grape, which may have originated in the region. Within Condrieu is the enclave AOC of Château-Grillet, producing wines that are also 100% Viognier. Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condrieu_AOC) – Description from Philip James

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Description 2 of 2

The Rhône's northernmost white wine outpost, Condrieu lies just south of the Côte Rôtie. This miniscule appellation produces extremely floral and full-bodied wines made exclusively from the Viognier grape. Almost lost to the world in the 1970s, Viognier has rebounded spectacularly. Following in its neighbor Côte Rôtie success, Condrieu's Viognier grape gained notoriety for its unique, fashionable white wines. It has spread far beyond the northern Rhône to France's Languedoc, California, Australia and even South America. In Condrieu, this renaissance has led to the expandion of the vineyard area from just 25 acres to 320 acres as many abandoned sites are producing again. In fact, further expansion of Condrieu is virtually impossible as all the sloped sites with southern exposure are planted. Like its sister, Côte Rôtie, just to the north, Condrieu's vineyards lie on steep granite slopes above the Rhône river. The best sites have a topsoil of arzelle (decomposed mica) and are sheltered from the north wind. These winds can pose serious flowering problems because of Viognier's notorious problems with fruit set. Regardless of the wine, Viognier has very low yields and, given the labor and costs involved with steep hillside vineyards, it's almost amazing that anyone bothers to produce Condrieu at all! Some of the best growers are Georges Vernay, Pierre Dumazet, Andre Perret and E. Guigal. Many producers here offer both Condrieu and Côte Rôtie wines. Although vinification practices vary a lot - there is little consensus on the use of malolactic fermentation and oak - all Condrieu wines have pronounced body alcohol to go with their delicate aromas. They are best drunk within 2 to 4 years of bottling. – Description from Rodolphe Boulanger

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