Mythical Terroir

Just 3.5 hectares in the heart of the northern Rhône valley . . .

Château-Grillet is located between the villages of Vérin and Saint-Michel-sur-Rhône (Loire department), on the right bank of the Rhône to the south of the town of Vienne. Since 1936 this real jewel of Nature has been one of the smallest and most prestigious French appellations producing a single white wine, one of the greatest.

The vineyard of Château-Grillet is in the form of a southern-facing amphitheatre, enjoying an exceptionally hot and sunny microclimate, protected from the winds from the north. The name “Grillet” may refer to hillsides “grilled” or burnt by the sun. The vines have an average age of 45 years and are planted on sometimes breathtakingly steep slopes. They are at 150-250 metres above sea level and spread over 87 marvellous terraces, called “chaillées”, held up by dry stone walls which have been meticulously maintained and preserved over the centuries. Ever since the Roman times, the hand of man has been required continuously to maintain these terraces, giving a sense of purpose and identity to this magical place with its mind-blowing beauty.

The Viognier grape reigns supreme here, giving birth to wines of great tightness, intensity and minerality. It blossoms on soils coming from two different geological formations:

Ancient biotite granite formations from the Palaeozoic Era, rock made up of quartz, feldspars and micas, which erode to give sandy soils with some clay content.

More recent formations consisting of loess deposits (formed by wind-blown dust, from the Quaternary Period), found occasionally in hollows in the vineyard.

These poor soils, sound and well-drained, offer ideal conditions for the production of great wines and the friable sub-soil allows the vine’s roots to dig deep to draw on water and mineral elements.

Though minuscule, the vineyard has different microclimates which vary according to altitude, exposition and distance from the stream. These factors affect the ripening of the grapes and require precise and regular monitoring throughout the growing season.

Château-Grillet was recognised early on by many wine lovers, writers and personalities. The estate has been a national heritage site since 15 May 1976, in recognition of the beauty and the age of its vineyard and château.

Discover the fascinating history of Château-Grillet

Centuries of tradition
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