The Condrieu terroir, on the right-bank of the Rhône, is famous for its white wines, and is the northern most white wine appellation in the Rhône Valley. These impressive wines inherit their exceptional character from the viognier that is planted here in its home terroir. The appellation’s narrow terraces are generally composed of granite and “arzelle”: a mixture of decomposed granite, mica, shale, and clay that gives Condrieu wines their fruity aromas of peaches and apricots.
The most prestigious vineyards are found on the right-bank of the Rhône, south of the Côte-Rôtie. Wine lovers will be sure to get away from the village and wind their way through the maze of vines that cover the hillside and, at the edge of soaring granite cliffs, produce a famous white cru.
When the viognier almost disappeared in the 1950s, a passionate few winemakers kept the appellation alive long enough to see a renaissance in the 1980s. Today, the AOC covers 110 hectares and has become a global benchmark, especially in the USA. (check area with chairman???)
Born from the capricious and subtle viognier – a grape variety native to Condrieu (though according to some sources, it is native to Dalmatia) and whose cultivation, legend would have it, was encouraged by the Roman Emperor Probus – the golden, delicate, and aromatic Condrieu reaches its best at a young age. Full bodied on the palate, its robust body reveals hints of peach and violet.
single grape variety is used in Condrieu wines: the viognier (link to Grape Variety Fact Sheet). This unique variety of grape produces smooth, generous wines. In the glass, it is pale in colour with slight hints of green. Fresh but highly aromatic, Condrieu contains floral notes of violet, or fruits such as mango and apricot. At its peak, if radiates touches of musk, gingerbread and tobacco. Susceptible to oxidization, the wine should be enjoyed when young.