Domaine Georges Vernay is one of the Rhône‘s most renowned wine producers, and has contributed significantly to the rejuvenation of the Condrieu appellation. Today, the estate has built on its reputation for superior Viognier wines and its complementary range of high-quality Syrah wines from Côte Rôtie.
Founder Francis Vernay planted the domaine’s original vines on a 1-hectare (3-acre) plot of south-facing hillside at the base of the Coteau du Vernon. When Georges Vernay inherited the estate from his father in the early 1950s, he began to develop and expand these vineyards, as well constructing a series of terraces. Christine Vernay, George’s daughter, has continued to expand the estate with the acquisition of several vineyard holdings in Saint-Joseph, Côte Rôtie and Collines Rhodaniennes, all planted to Syrah. As a result, Domaine Georges Vernay is now recognized as much for its Syrah, as it is Viognier.
Domaine Georges Vernay makes three wines from its vineyards in Condrieu: Coteau de Vernon, Les Chaillées d’Enfer and Les Terrasses de l’Empire. The domaine produced its inaugural Coteau de Vernon vintage in 1940, and today the domaine makes approximately 9000 bottles of its flagship wine a year. The Viognier grapes are sourced from a 2-ha (5-acre) south-facing terraced vineyard that is planted with vines aged up to 80 years old. Harvest is carried out by hand and the wine is aged in contact with its lees for around a year in oak barrels, a quarter of which are new.
The Côte Rôtie wine portfolio consists of a 100-percent Syrah wine, Maison Rouge, as well as a Syrah – Viognier blend, Blonde du Seigneur. The remainder of the domaine’s Syrah-based wine range is sourced from its vineyards in Saint-Joseph, Collines Rhodaniennes and Côtes du Rhône, with an additional white Viognier wine produced from 15 year-old-vines planted in Collines Rhodaniennes.