- Q & A
Vallis Queyras is one of the luxury brands owned by Domaines Pierre Chavin. Chavin refers to themselves as "wine creators" as they farm vineyards in all of the great French wine regions including Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhone, the Loire and Champagne. The Pierre Chavin house designs wines destined for both the haute couture and "ready-to-consume" segments, offering elegant and simple answers to the tastes of consumers worldwide.
Our selection is a rare bird indeed. Barely 4% of the wine that is made in the Southern Rhone, as is our Vallis Queyras, is white. It is normally a very warm, bordering on hot, region that is inhospitable to most white grapes except for a very few. Viognier is one of those grapes.
The story of how white grapes were first planted in this once all red grape territory is quite amusing. In the 1303, a French Cardinal was elected Pope and moved the papacy from Rome to Avignon in the Southern Rhone area of Vaucluse. They refurbished an old church and renamed it Chateauneuf du Pape, the "new home of the Pope" which is where the famous wine gets its name.
The only grapes grown in Vaucluse had very high alcohol. After a few masses, the priests would get a little tipsy and asked that white grapes be planted around the church because they were picked earlier and weren't as high in alcohol. Of course they didn't know why, they just knew the results. To this day, very little white wine other than that made in Chateauneuf du Pape comes from this area. It was called vin du masse, which often was mistranslated as the wine of the masses, but in actuality is the "wine of the mass."
Viognier is traditionally made in the Northern Rhone, where it is one of the most prized wines in France. When carefully grown here, it can make a wine that is packed with flavor and extract. It is thought to have originated in Croatia but that has been debated because its true origins are yet to be discovered. Our selection is packed with lots of lychee and Asian spice that could match well with anything from chicken with 40 cloves of garlic to fig and pork sausages.
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