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Estate

The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis; a small, ancient village at the heart of the Côte-Rôtie appellation. It is overlooked by unique vineyards where vines and wine have been celebrated for over 2,400 years. Following his arrival in 1924 at the age of 14, the founder went on to make wine for 67 vintages in the Côte-Rôtie and, at the beginning of his career, took part in the development of the Vidal-Fleury establishment.

In 1961, a still very young Marcel Guigal took over management of the domain when his father was struck by temporary but total blindness. He was joined in 1973 by his wife, Bernadette and they worked hand-in-hand to expand the family business. In 1975, their son Philippe was born and today he is the domain’s oenologist. Together with his wife, Eve, he represents the third generation and continues the family’s lifetime endeavour to be at the service of the greatest wines of the Rhône valley.

Since 1946, hard work and perseverance have paid their dividends as demonstrated by certain key developments such as the purchase of the Vidal-Fleury establishment at the beginning of the ‘80s, which still preserves commercial autonomy and its own identity.

Ten years later, 1995 heralded the acquisition of the famous Château d’Ampuis, an historical and oenological marvel situated on the banks of the Rhône with a long history linked directly to the Côte-Rôtie appellation

The Guigal domain was further expanded in 2001 when it added the domains Jean-Louis Grippat and de Vallouit to its stable, thus strengthening significantly its position within the Côte-Rôtie appellation as well as the Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage appellations.

In 2003, the Guigals, forever striving to improve their knowledge of wine and everything to do with it launched themselves into a brand-new adventure: barrel making. This artisanal and ancient craft enables them to master yet another skill within the charming historical surroundings of the Château d’Ampuis.

In March 2006, the Guigal family purchased the Domaine de Bonserine which, whilst still retaining independence, enjoys the support of the Guigal domain in developing its activities.

The acquisition of the Château de Nalys in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in July 2017 marks a milestone in the history of the Maison Guigal as it gained a foothold in the South of the Rhône Valley. Nalys became the southern jewel in the family crown.

We are not very far from the first square metres of cellar where Etienne Guigal worked, although today there are 3 hectares of cellars and galleries housing barrels, oak and stainless-steel vats. The history and soul of the Guigal family infuse this place which quietly harbours these exceptional wines.

At the same time and with the same spirit of passion and enthusiasm, the family selects, matures and sells wines from the greatest appellations of the Rhône valley.

 

Vinification, transmission from generation to generation

Vinification requires the perfect mastery of skills honed by our ancestors to produce top-quality wine. Each stage of the process demands extreme care and attention to detail at all times. This is where the quintessence of a great wine is split between artisanal techniques and the modern tools of vinification. This duality brings out the complexity of the grape variety’s character and the specific characteristics of the terroirs from which they come.

Ageing quality wines in the Rhône Valley

Cloaked in silence and the cool darkness of the cellars, the still barrels nurture their precious contents year after year. This calm is deceptive, however, as nowhere else is such intense activity at play. Here, the oak is king; alone it is in charge of the subtle exchange which allows the wine to evolve and improve slowly and consistently under the watchful eye of the winemaker. Again, alone it enhances the raw material produced from the fruit and the terroir with delicate nuances of oak, vanilla and noble tannins. Without overpowering, it reveals the authenticity of the wine with a profound respect for its balance, its origins and the vintage. Each day, the wine becomes more refined, more expressive and bolder in the barrel. It lies patiently in wait for the perfect moment when it will be bottled.

Producing exceptional wines

The wines of the Maison Guigal are crafted in the family’s tasting room that lies in the very heart of the historic cellars of the domain. A daily ritual is performed in the calm of this sanctuary as father and son work on their precious blends. Aromas, structure, flavours - each nuance is studied. Hence the reason why long months of tasting are required to achieve excellence and evoke intense and authentic emotion. Through this natural alchemy, the balance and consistent quality of the wines of this great Rhône estate are ensured vintage after vintage.

 

« The artisanal cooperage of the domain »

In the summer of 2003, the GUIGAL Estate, always determined to improve its knowledge of wine and everything related to it, launched into a completely new adventure: barrel-making.

In annex buildings of the Chateau d’Ampuis which date back to the 15th and 17th centuries, the cooper fashions, assembles and toasts the traditional barrels destined for the ageing of the great wines of the domain. Artisanal and ancestral knowledge enable the Maison Guigal to master this additional skill and thus the estate’s wines are aged in oak barrels made with finely grained wood from the best forests in France.

Around 800 new barrels are made each year to fulfil the annual requirements of the winery which ages its best wines only in new oak barrels. These traditional methods confer a unique status on the GUIGAL estate as its top wines can be aged for up to three and a half years before bottling.

 

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