Wine Wednesday: François Villard
Cheers and welcome to Wine Wednesday! Today, we are going to feature a Rhône producer that we at the girl & the fig love: François Villard.
Francois Villard began his career in a restaurant, leading to his consideration of a career as a sommelier. Deciding on winemaking, Villard began planting grape vines in Condrieu in 1989 with the help of Yves Cuilleron. By 1991 and almost entirely self taught, Villard had become a full time winemaker, and is currently producing about 30 different wines from the Northern Rhône Valley. His best known wines are Viognier from Condrieu and Syrah from Côte-Rôtie.
Villard tends to let the fruit hang on the vine for a little longer than most, optimizing ripeness for full flavored wines. He vinifies using whole clusters, as he feels that the stems add a certain freshness to his wines. Balance is key for Villard in his wines - whites with rich fruit and texture yet balanced acid, and reds with a harmony of fruit and earth.