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"No matter, it's a Viognier that gives many a 'vrai' Condrieu a good run for its money. The sumptuous Viognier!"
Christine Vernay's 'Le Pied de Samson' bottling is not actually a Condrieu per se as it hails from the upper plateau, above 300 metres above sea level, which doesn't fall within the boundaries of the official appellation, so is bottled as a relatively humble Vin de Pays. No matter, it's a Viognier that gives many a 'vrai' Condrieu a good run for its money.
Tasting notes: More complex than it appears, Pied de Samson takes its name from the giant Samson who, stooping to drink water from the Rhône, left his footprint not far from the estate. It presents the Viognier in its original form with expressions of indulgent fruits and freshness. In blind tastings it is often mistaken for a Condrieu; on the palate it is a pure moment of pleasure !
Domaine Georges Vernay is one of the oldest and most famous estates 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.
For over 20 years, Christine Vernay has used organic farming methods. Considering herself as the custodian of a land for which she is responsible for caring, she has long been committed to organic farming, long before it was fashionable or urgent to do so. She has now successfully demonstrated that, while it is difficult to work the steeply sloping vineyards using organic farming, it is not impossible.
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