Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Original Viognier

2010 Georges Vernay Condrieu 'Coteau de Vernon'

Maison VernayThe historic home of the viognier grape is the tiny appellation of Condrieu, just south of Lyon on the steep slopes above the Rhone valley. In the late 1940s, the prices for viognier grapes in the Northern Rhone had fallen so low that growers were ripping out vines and replacing them with fruit trees, and the wine for several decades after was known and served only in local restaurants.

The most well known and most ardent supporter was Georges Vernay, who created the family domaine in 1953 with a 1.5 hectare vineyard known as the Coteau de Vernon, and continued to promote the appellation through the 1960s, even when total production fell to less than 10 hectares total! Thanks in a very large part to the efforts of George Vernay and the exceptional quality of the wines from the Coteau de Vernon vineyard, the story is quite different today. Condrieu remains a small appellation with a tiny production, but the wines are highly sought after, and of course the Coteau Vernon remains the mythic wine of the appellation, and today the vineyard has grown to 2 hectares, with an annual production of 4000 – 5000 bottles.

The Coteau Vernon is a rich, powerful, dry white wine that works exceptionally well with poultry or fish in cream sauces. Opinions are divided as to whether to enjoy great viognier young or old. When young, the wine has an intense fresh peach, floral and honey aroma that is incredibly seductive. Over time, it takes on more petrol aromas, gains enormously in complexity, yet with less of the fresh fruit aromas, typically arriving at maturity in 8-10 years. 
 Coteau Vernon Label

Georges Vernay 
2010 Condrieu 'Coteau de Vernon'

EU Price:      79.00€   TTC
(toutes taxes compris, all taxes included)

Export Price: 66.05€   HT  
(hors taxes, without VAT tax, for shipments outside the EU)

Click here for a currency conversion

This wine is currently in stock and can ship in the Spring or Fall.
Further Reading:
The Condrieu appelation web site (the pdf downloads have actually quite a lot of useful geeky information):

A Canadian blogger's visit to the domaine:

The official website of the domaine: 

You can read parts of a really excellent write-up of Condrieu in John Livingstone-Learmonth's book The Wines of the Northern Rhone in Google Books, which hopefully will inspire you to get your own copy!:
If you are interested in ordering other wines please email us and we'll be happy to send a list of wines, or try to track down anything you might be looking for. 

 Joshua Adler, Spring Caviste

1 comment:

  1. This is a gorgeous place. I am interested in this book. I'll contact you soon! Thanks!

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