ONCE UPON A TIME...
… the story of a renaissance, of a vineyard rescued from oblivion by a group of Rhone valley winemakers in search of great terroirs. At the end of the 1990s, when they discovered the remains of this jewel overrun by brambles north of Vienne, on the left bank of the Rhone, they had no hesitation in bringing the vineyard back to life. The Vitis Vienna vineyard lies 30 km south of Lyon, in the environs of Vienne, Seyussuel and Chasse-sur-Rhône. As in the northern Rhone valley, the winemakers here plant Syrah for red wines and Viognier for white, two grape varieties that originated in the region and where they express all their aromatic potential.
THE LEGACY OF A WINE CULTURE
The origins of the Vitis Vienna vineyard date from the Roman era. Vienne was then the capital of the Allobroges and was producing wines that were already renowned beyond the borders. The region’s wines were praised by a number of authors of Antiquity, including Plutarch, Pliny the Elder, Martial, Columella and Celsus, illustrating their real historic roots. In the 19th century, the grapevines covered some hundred hectares in Seyssuel. At the time, the vineyard was “the town’s main source of revenue” (municipal register, 1883). Although the vineyard was later devastated by phylloxera, it has now been reborn thanks to a group of winemakers who, with hard work and passion, have revived it and are today producing wines of a very high quality.
THE CHALLENGE OF THE SLOPES
This breathtaking wine-making landscape overlooks the left bank of the Rhone. The vines grow on the hills, facing south / south-west, following the bend of the river. This is the most northerly of the region’s vineyards and yet the weather is warm, and even very hot – as shown by the specific vegetation of the area. Here the Rhone valley is very narrow, which promotes the best possible supply of air to the vines. In this highly specific climate, remarkable plant and animal life develop, which the winemakers strive to preserve. They do everything to produce a high-quality wine: land selection, low yield, work by hand in the vineyards, choice of grape, long fermentation and maturation… The unique character of the wines results from the specific local conditions together with the commitment and passion of the winemakers.