Domaine Georges Vernay is one of the oldest and most famous estate in Condrieu. Georges highly contributed to the reintroduction of Viognier on the hillsides of the region when in 1960’s the appellation used to cover only 8 hectares. Today the domaine is managed by Georges’ daughter Christine and her husband Paul. The vineyard covers 8 hectares in Condrieu, 2.5 hectares in Côte-Rôtie and 1.5 hectares in Saint-Joseph and the rest being located in IGP Collines Rhôdaniennes and Côtes-du-Rhône. Their Condrieu are made from vineyards in the heart of the appellation and all express the purest; most restrained expression of the Viognier grape.
The vines are farmed organically (going toward biodynamic) and one of the domaine’s biggest challenges is to manage endless terraced vineyards without using herbicides.
Grapes are fermented with indigenous yeasts. The reds are usually 100% destemmed although 30% whole cluster are kept in Maison Rouge. They are aged in barrels with 25% to 50% new oak for 1 to 2 years. The whites are usually vinified in stainless steel tanks and aged in barrels for around a year but Chrisitine loves to experiment and there is no such thing than golden rules in her cellar. Wines are not filtered and only a small amount of sulfur is used.
“If the white wines are iconic it’s not a reason not to pay attention to their reds. All the wines show extreme precision and elegance. The whites express the thinnest expression of Viognier”