Wine writer Roger Morris interviewed Michel Chapoutier before a press conference wrapping up the 8th Edition of the Découvertes en Vallée du Rhone in Avignon and discovered some interesting tidbits about the legendary winemaker’s views on entry-level wines in the Rhone:
“The Rhone’s new customers are people who are young, and people who are American,” he said, explaining that he believes Rhone winemakers can no longer rely on the reputations of just their legendary wines, such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu.
Chapoutier would like to see more vineyards in areas near Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph making such entry level wines as part of the Côtes-du-Rhone system that currently is almost exclusively a southern Rhone brand. That said, he welcomes the experimentation that comes with the non-appellation wines such as the IGP’s, Vins de Pays and the new Vins de France being made in the Rhone Valley, even though they are not part of the Inter Rhone umbrella.
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