Condrieu, is the principal Northern Rhone AOC for white wine, found directly south of Côte-Rôtie and (unsurprisingly) around the town of Condrieu. The wines here are made exclusively from Viognier, with some 200ha of AOC land under vine. Just like the rest of its Northern Rhone neighbouring AOC’s the vineyards are planted on steep granite slopes that fall down to the river. The vines are typically low yielding offering lots of concentration balanced with aromatic stone fruit and white flower bouquets. Oak is carefully used (and little of it will be new) with many preferring to drink these wines in their youth whilst fresh and floral, however some of the very best examples have been known to last many years.
Degaches Freres, whilst now in their third generation as grape growers, have only recently (since 2009) started to produce their very own wines. One of only 60 bottlers in the region, their modest 4ha of Syrah, Viognier and Marsanne can be found at the Southern tip of the Cote-Rotie. With soils rich in granite and schist and vines as old as 30 years (those from their Maisons Blanches plot), they look to balance power, spice, fruit and elegance. They work cleanly in the vineyards adopting agriculture raisonnée a system of farming that limits treatments on the vines in a shift towards organic farming.