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Country of Origin: France
Location: Condrieu, Northern Rhône
People: Xavier Gerard, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
The bright and soulful Xavier Gérard is an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with in the Northern Rhône. Having assumed control of his family’s impressive holdings in Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu with the 2013 vintage, Xavier has been steadily honing his craft over the ensuing years; today, his svelte, pure, classicist renderings of Côte-Rôtie’s unique terroir rival anything produced in the appellation. Furthermore, his nimble, acid-prizing touch with Viognier yields Condrieu of appealing restraint and foregrounded minerality.
Of the 3.5 hectares of Condrieu under his watch, 3 hectares are estate-owned. 2.2 hectares of the 3.2 hectares of Côte-Rôtie vineyards belong to the family. A tiny parcel of Saint Joseph rounds out the holdings. The steep, craggy slopes of the vineyards demand that all work be done manually, and Xavier is steering his viticulture toward the fully organic, aiming for certification over the next several years. He has refined his touch in the cellar to allow for sensitive rather than systematic whole-cluster usage, natural fermentations, and minimal handling of the wines during their élévage. His emphasis on elegance and precision provides a wonderful counterpoint to the beloved Côte-Rôtie of the Levet family (who introduced us to Xavier ten years ago), while offering an equally profound glimpse into these slopes’ prized schist.