The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in the ancient village of Ampuis, home of the wines of the Côte-Rôtie. In these vineyards of over 2400 years old you can still see the small terraced walls characteristic of the Roman period. Etienne Guigal arrived in this region in 1923 at the age of 14. He made wine over 67 vintages and, at the beginning of his career, par... Read more
The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in the ancient village of Ampuis, home of the wines of the Côte-Rôtie. In these vineyards of over 2400 years old you can still see the small terraced walls characteristic of the Roman period. Etienne Guigal arrived in this region in 1923 at the age of 14. He made wine over 67 vintages and, at the beginning of his career, participated in the development of the Vidal-Fleury establishment. Despite his young age, Marcel Guigal took over from his father in 1961 when the latter was victim to a brutal illness rendering him blind. Marcel’s hard work and perseverance enabled the Guigals to buy out Vidal-Fleury in 1984, although the establishment retains its own identity and commercial autonomy. In 2000, the Guigals purchased the Jean-Louis GRIPPAT estate in Saint-Joseph and Hermitage as well as the Domaine de VALLOUIT in Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. In the cellars of the GUIGAL estate in Ampuis, the northern appellations of the Rhône Valley are produced and aged. These are the appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. The great appellations of the Southern Rhône; Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône are also aged in the Ampuis cellars. Today, Philippe Guigal, oenologist, is the third generation to continue the family endeavour to be at the service of the greatest wines of the Rhône Valley. United as a family, Bernadette, Marcel and Philippe work together to develop this family owned and run enterprise. The headquarters of the GUIGAL estate are situated at the Château d’Ampuis whilst the offices and cellars remain in the small ancient village, cradle of the CÔTE-ROTIE appellation. The Château d’Ampuis is an ancient 12th century fort which was then prettified and developed into a Renaissance Château in the 16th Century ; set amongst the vines and bordered by the king of rivers; the Rhône. This imposing Seat, today classified as an historical monument, was constructed by the powerful Maugiron family and has welcomed several French kings over the centuries. Lovingly restored by the Guigal family since 1995, this jewel of the Renaissance lives again amongst the vineyards of the Côte-Rôtie; its prestigious past and future assured. Sometimes, in magical places, a dream can endow reality with great beauty. HOMMAGE TO ETIENNE GUIGAL Philippe, remember your grandfather who made wine for 67 vintages with such passion. Each day he went down into the cellars and you, as a child, loved to follow him holding his glass and pipette. Slowly, he made a tour of all the barrels and racks looking lovingly at these bottles which triumph over demons, sadness, boredom and time. His greatest joy was to share, as widely as possible, the emotions and pleasures of wine tasting. Your truly marvellous grandfather smiled upon these bottles and you thought to yourself: how he loves his cellar. But no son, it was us he loved because he knew that he himself would never taste these rare wines, produced to achieve a grand old age. THE VINEYARD The GUIGAL family owns vineyards in Condrieu and in the Côte-Rôtie with illustrious plots producing wines such as ‘La Doriane’ in Condrieu, the famous growths of the Côte-Rôtie ‘La Mouline’, ‘La Turque’ and ‘La Landonne’, Côte-Rôtie Château d’Ampuis, Hermitage ‘Ex-Voto’, produced only in the great vintages and Saint-Joseph ‘Lieu-Dit Saint-Joseph’ in red and white, as well as the famous Saint-Joseph red « Vignes de l’Hospice ». These wines have each become flagships of their appellations. In the cellars of the GUIGAL estate in Ampuis, the northern appellations of the Rhône Valley are produced and aged. These are the appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. The great appellations of the Southern Rhône; Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône are also aged in the Ampuis cellars. The methods of viticulture are practised with total respect for the environment. Natural methods of combating parasites and disease ensure that the grapes cultivated in the domaine's vineyards fully express the complexity of the greatest terroirs of Condrieu and the Côte-Rôtie. Thanks to the meticulous selection of the grapes and the application of the highest standards of quality in the winemaking process, the Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie Brune & Blonde wines of the Guigal estate have become flagships of these two prestigious appellations. The vineyard of the Côte-Rôtie covers approximately 215 hectares comprising the Côte Brune, situated uphill from the Reynard stream and the Côte Blonde, which is situated below. These vines were originally planted over 24 centuries ago by the Romans. The Côte Brune, exclusively planted with Syrah vines, is recognisable by its virile vegetation. The Côte Blonde is more serenely feminine due to the inclusion of Viognier vines which add refinement to the Syrah. A sort of ‘fertile museum’, the yield from this vineyard is naturally limited. In the Côte-Rôtie, the GUIGAL house owns several jewels including the Côte-Rôtie « La Mouline » situated on the Côte blonde, distinguished by its form which resembles a Roman amphitheatre. Situated on the Côte Brune, La Turque benefits from full Southern exposure and from a complex terroir made up of shale and iron oxide which lend finesse and strength to this wine. La Landonne is impressive with its breathtaking slopes of nearly 45 degrees. La Landonne is planted exclusively with Syrah. Last but not least, the Côte-Rôtie Château d’Ampuis is produced from ancient plots which are amongst some of the finest of the Domaine GUIGAL. The Condrieu appellation covers about 100 hectares. Overhanging the right bank of the Rhône, this vineyard is planted exclusively with Viognier, a varietal imported from Dalmatia at the beginning of our era. La Doriane is one of the jewels of the Condrieu appellation. The GUIGAL estate also owns vineyards on illustrious plots with exceptional terroir in the appellations of Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. On the famous hill of Hermitage, the Ex-Voto reds and whites, produced only in the greatest vintages, come from plots with evocative names such as Bessards, Hermite, Greffieux, Murets... a hand picked selection of grapes from these precious terroirs are blended to produce, as if by magic, THE great wine of a chosen vintage. In a mirror image, on the right bank of the Rhône, are the vineyards of the Saint-Joseph appellation the majority of which belonged previously to the Jean-Louis GRIPPAT estate. The Lieu-Dit Saint-Joseph is planted mainly with old vines which produce classic red and white wines, true flagships of this up-and-coming appellation of the northern Côtes-du-Rhône. Finally, the Saint-Joseph « Vignes de l’Hospice » is cultivated on this unique slope composed of granite where the vines are literally suspended on the breathtaking slopes which hang over the town of Tournon. This vineyard is a treasure producing precious and rare nectar. In total, the vineyards of the GUIGAL estate cover over 45 hectares. Read less
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