By: Cecily G
It’s our favorite day of the week, Wine Wednesday! Grab a glass and enjoy our continued journey to learn all things Rhône. This week’s topic: Château-Grillet AOC.
Château-Grillet is an AOC in the Northern Rhône, which produces white wines from Viognier grapes. The interesting thing about this AOC, is that the whole appellation is owned by one winery called, (you guessed it!) Château-Grillet. This AOC, along with Condrieu (Château-Grillet’s neighbor), are the only northern Rhône appellations that are exclusively white wine producing.
Château-Grillet was first cultivated by the Ancient Romans, with ruins from this community still existing near the property today. The name comes from the hillsides tendency to be roasted in the heat of the sun. In 1827, the Neyret-Gachet family acquired the estate that is now Château-Grillet, and was one of the first wineries in the Rhône Valley to produce and sell their own wines. In 1936, official appellation status was granted to Château-Grillet. The Neyret-Gachet family owned the estate until 2011, when Francois Pinault (owner of Bordeaux powerhouse Château Latour) purchased the property.
The appellation of Château-Grillet is very tiny, at only 3.5 hectares of vines. The vines are planted on steep, south facing terraces, in soils of granite with quartz, micas sand and clay. The wines produced from this vineyard are 100% Viognier, and have the ability to age for decades. The wine will typically have aromas of apricot, honey, and truffle, with flavors of orange and tangerine.