Syrah

Le Clos des Grillons

Nicolas Renaud of Clos de Grillons is exactly the kind of vigneron we are into. Not only is he a good friend and neighbour of the Pfifferlings, the two friends also join forces to make Sune's own gift cuvée 'Venskab'. Formerly a history teacher - with no family ties to wine or ownership of land - Nicolas slowly began renting parcels of land in areas that were overlooked by the cooperatives, who were on the search for more productive vines. Of course these old vines and low yields were exactly what Nicolas was looking for.

Jérôme Jouret

High up on the steep slopes of Vallée de l'Ibie in Southern Ardèche, not far from a rediscovered stone-age cave, you will find the vineyards of Jérôme Jouret. His 12ha of land is certified Organic by Ecocert, although the 30-45 year old vines have never known chemicals anyway. Today, Jérôme's practices are more biodynamic in nature. Jérôme grows Alicante, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Ugni Blanc, Viognier and Clairette on limestone and clay soils.

Jean-Michel Stéphan

Jean-Michel Stéphan is a different breed of vigneron in Côte-Rôtie. Not only does he distance himself from the use of new oak and high alcohol in his wines, he is also a champion of Sérine, a rare cousin of Syrah which has smaller grapes and looser bunches, producing lower yields and particularly aromatic wine. Jean-Michel farms three distinct plots in Coteaux de Tupin, Coteaux de Bassenon and Condrieu, all on steep slopes. Like a mountain goat, Jean-Michel cares for his vines without the use of chemicals. His yields are super-low, on average 10H/L.

Jean David

Domaine Jean David is a small domaine in Séguret of Côtes du Rhône. When Jean David first turned his hands towards being a vigneron, he spoke to his father about the benefits of organic faming. His father, however, wasn't so sure, but after some persuasion he allowed Jean David to have 5 of his 17ha as a test patch. That was in the 1970's, and the rest is history. Jean David's father permitted him more and more hectares until the entire domain was certified organic by Ecocert ('87), allowing Jean David the freedom to progress with his philosophy.

Henri Milan

In the hills of Avignon, around the village of St Remy de Provence that was once famously frequented by Van Gogh, lives another kind of protégé. Henri Milan has more or less been a vigneron since birth, planting his first vine at the age of 8 and taking over from his father in 1986. His work in the vineyard shows his complete respect for nature and terroir: practicing biodynamics on the land and being the first in his family to decide to vinify the parcels separately, revealing their outstanding individual potential.

Domaine du Coulet

Domaine du Coulet was set up by the grandfather of current vigneron Matthieu Barret after the second world war. Matthieu's father had no interest in being a vigneron, so Mattieu took control of the estate at the youthful age of 23. Almost immediately he began to transform the vineyards away from conventional farming to organic, then biodynamic practices, and the domaine was officially certified biodynamic by 2002. The Syrah parcels are found on the terraced hillsides of Cornas.

Domaine de Villeneuve

In 1993, Philippe de Roy du Bliquy, an advertising mogul from Paris, was on the hunt for some vineyards and stumbled upon the then run-down Domaine de Villeneuve in the northern corner of Chateauneuf-du-Pape close to Chateau de Beaucastel. Together with a good friend, Stanislas Wallut and their families, they began restoring the 8.5ha, using biodynamic practices to heal the vines which are now certified Biodynamic by Ecocert. Only a small amount of vines had to be replanted, which means that nearly all of the vines are now between 30-100 years old.

Domaine Bories Jefferies

British born Jo Jefferies moved out to Languedoc to help out his dad with some construction work many moons ago. Naturally, he fell in love and decided to stay, later establishing Domaine Bories-Jefferies from vines that used to belong to his in-laws. The vineyard lies on volcanic soils which adds freshness and crazy-good minerality in the finished wines. Inspired by his friends Bernard Bellahsen and Rémi Pujol, Jo describes his wines as home made. He says if you were making a cake at home would you add additives, chemicals? Of course not.

Château de Roquefort

Château de Roquefort has passed hands many times since it was built, now under ownership by Raimond de Villeneuve. The history of the château has a rich agricultural past, and was also involved with the old silk worm production. Today, winemaking is the primary focus. The 25 ha of vineyard are located on the edge of Bandol in a sort of amphitheater on clay and limestone. This affords the vines their own microclimate, and grapes are slow to ripen at the altitude of 1000ft. Raimond plants the usual Provencial suspects along with brave recent plantings of Cabernet Franc for kicks.

Bernabé Navarro

In the old bush vines of Alicante works natural vigneron Rafa Bernabé. The white varieties are planted close to the sea, where they rely on it's cooling breezes, whilst the red grapes are found soaking up the sun further inland. Varieties are Moscatel, Merseguera, Garnacha Peluda and Monastrell. He harvests early, particularly for the white varieties in order to ensure freshness in the wines. In the winery, his methods are simple: no added yeasts and no added SO2 where possible.