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The Northern Rhone through Yves Cuilleron - Delafield Only

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Event Date Wednesday, July 31, 6 pm

Event Type Wine Tasting Seminar

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The Cuilleron estate, located in Verlieu, a hamlet of Chavanay just south of Condrieu, is one of the benchmark producers of the Rhone. Proprietor Yves Cuilleron makes an assortment of wines from multiple appellations, including Condrieu, Saint Péray, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint Joseph, Cote Rotie, and a range of terrific varietally labelled Vin de Pays from the Collines Rhodaniennes. First founded in 1920, Yves Cuilleron’s grandfather began bottling his own wine in 1947. Yves’ uncle Antoine ran the winery from 1960 to 1987 and acquired eight hectares of vineyards in the Condrieu appellation, making them one of the more significant estates in the area. Yves took over the family domaine in 1987, added vineyards, and built a new winery and aging facility.

Most of the vineyards are situated in and around Chavanay, while the holdings in Côte-Rôtie extend north into Ampuis, and those furthest south are in the village of Saint Péray. The majority of the vines are set on terraces which makes most mechanization difficult, if not impossible. Thus, the vineyard work continues to be done by hand. To control yields, Cuilleron does extensive debudding and, when necessary, a green harvest. In the cellar, the manually harvested grapes are fermented using indigenous yeasts. The white wines are fermented in barrels of various sizes and ages and kept on the lees with regular battonage. The reds are partially destemmed, and fermentation occurs in open top cuves. Pigeage and remontage are done regularly throughout the process.

Cuilleron has been described by the wine press as "the leader of Condrieu's new generation of winemakers” and his wines straddle the divide between traditionalists and the new-wave, in the sense that they retain their sense of place, but express their sites in an approachable, immediate way. From simple VdP wines to the top bottlings in Condrieu, St. Peray and St. Joseph, the wines of Yves Cuilleron offer purity, precision, grace, and joy.