The Guigal Estate was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis, a small ancient village and cradle of the Cote-Rotie appellation. It shelters a unique vineyard where the vines and the wines have been famous for 2,400 years. Arriving in 1924 at 14 years old, the founder vinfied 67 harvests in Cote-Rotie.
In 1961, although still very young, Marcel Guigal took over management of the Establishment beside his father who was stricken suddenly with total blindness. In 1973, his wife Bernadette joined him and they worked together to develop the family business. In 1975, their son Philippe was born. Today he is the Estate’s winemaker. With his wife Eve by his side, he represents the third generation and continues the family work in the service of the Great Wines of the Rhone Valley.
In 1995 the estate acquired the famous Chateau d’Ampuis, an important historic and oenological monument whose long history is directly linked to the Cote-Rotie appellation. The Chateau d’Ampuis has become the headquarters of the Guigal Estate whilst the offices and the cellars remain in the ancient small village of Ampuis. The family are never very far from the first few square metres of the small cellar where Etienne Guigal first laboured, but today there are 3 hectares of cellars and galleries which house barrels, tanks and vats. The history and the soul of the Guigal family are clearly present in these cellars which discretely house the most exceptional wines.
The ‘Brune et Blonde’ or ‘brown and gold’ is in reference to the colour of the vine leaves around harvest time. Hence the thousand year old name of the Roasted Slope, aka Cote-Rotie. Hard, heat retentive granite is the bedrock of these slopes, bringing health, warmth and power to all of the grapes produced.
Along with this power, Guigal still manage to make exceptionally elegant wine with an abundance of finesse and complexity. Lots of spices, red berries and delicate oak aromas leading onto round soft tannins, flavours of raspberry, blackberry and vanilla balancing between scarcely perceptible acidity and tannins, which add ageing potential, and are already softened by long ageing. 36 months in the finest French oak, of which 50% new oak is used. The composition of the wine is mostly Syrah with just a touch of the Rhone white varietal, Viognier. The two grapes are co-fermented which helps give this highly concentrated wine the finesse and elegance it is renown for.