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Domaine Vernay

Christine Vernay

Organic viticulture

An iconic Estate in the Rhône Valley, the Domaine Vernay is famous for its Côte-Rôtie and its Condrieu.

In 1996, Christine Vernay, who has been responsible for the Estate and its wine making for over 20 years, took over from her father (Georges Vernay, famous for having saved the appellation and the viognier grape variety) and her grandfather (Francis Vernay) who created the Estate.

Today, the Estate, with its steep hillsides, is certified fully as Organic Viticulture and is worked with passion and investment.

The Estate's history

The Estate is a family estate where successive generations have served the land since 1940. Christine Vernay is the third generation of the family to manage it.

Creation of the Estate

1937 - 1953

Francis creates the Estate in Condrieu and plants his first vines in the locality of Coteau de Vernon.

1st cuvée

1940

He launches the now legendary 1st cuvée, the famous “Coteau de Vernon”.

Work and development

1953-1996

Georges takes over from his father. Invested and committed, he is recognised for having “saved” the Condrieu appellation. He becomes the leader of an entire generation that after him would make this terroir one of the most recognised in the world.

The Gold of the “Chaillées”

1992

After Vernon, Georges creates the Estate's second Condrieu in 1992: Les Chaillées de l’Enfer.

The Rise

1996 - 202....

Christine takes over the Estate. In terms of whites, she is responsible for the Terrasses de l’Empire, which she created in 1998, but she also made the Estate famous for its reds, launching in particular its famous Côte-Rôtie cuvées: Maison Rouge which she re-launched and vinified in 1997 and La Blonde du Seigneur, created in 1998. Today, the Estate is internationally renowned for both these wines as well as the Condrieu appellations.

Excellence

2019

Le Guide Vert 2020 by the Revue du Vin de France awards 3 stars, its highest distinction, to Christine Vernay, for all her wines.

The Estate today

Today, the Estate extends over 24 hectares, planted and worked. Seventeen hectares are on steep slopes divided between 3 appellations: Condrieu (10 ha), Côte-Rôtie (6 ha) and Saint-Joseph (2 ha), and 2 Syrah and Viognier PGI (6 ha).

Certified for organic viticulture, through careful winemaking, regular planting and plants replaced using the sélection massale process to maintain the vineyard’s health and diversity, Christine Vernay has raised the vineyard to the highest standards. She is also recognised for being an outstanding winemaker and some of her wines have been awarded the famous 100/100.

25
hectares
3
Guide Vert RVF
10
cuvées
120000
bottles
Vernon Sans

Mythical wines

WHITE WINES: THE VIOGNIER GRAPE

The quality of the terroirs of the Domaine Georges Vernay and the climate particular to this region help to avoid any heaviness and reveal the legendary aromatic subtlety of these two great grape varieties. The story of the Condrieu is the result of the magic of an exceptional terroir and a unique grape variety. The Domaine Georges Vernay has implemented significant resources to understand the difficult Viognier variety. Trained teams scour the particularly dangerous, steep slopes on which this variety likes to grow. Sparse but concentrated, Viognier is temperamental, sinuous and fragile and must be worked gently and not rushed. During fermentation, it releases understated aromas of flowers such as hawthorn and lime and fruits including white peach, apricot and sometimes pear. Analysing these delicate vinification aromas in order to obtain a fine wine is a very important task at the estate. The wine is slowly matured in barrels which respect its character and bring out the wine’s existing full-body.

Legendary wines

Red wines : the Syrah grape

The Syrah grown on the Domaine Georges Vernay is also very demanding. It needs to be grown on craggy terraces, on steep, south/south-east facing slopes. The passing years bring fullness, substance and depth. To bring out the best from these beautiful Syrah grapes requires a lot of physical work and care. An undisturbed maturation process provides the structure that will allow the Côte-Rôtie to develop slowly and age for 10 or 15 years.

Maison Rouge Sans