Jean Orens Ferraton began in 1946 with less than one acre of grapes. Fortunately, that acre was in Hermitage, one of the Northern Rhone's most revered appellations. Here, Syrah is king, but the miniscule amount of whites produced in the region garner even more attention because of their rarity as well as their brilliance. Ferraton recognized this and began to produce whites as well, and very good ones.
As wine history in France goes, Ferraton is fairly young - 70 years young, and still flourishing. In 1998, the second generation, led by Michel Ferraton, made the commitment to biodynamic farming. This is not just organic, but a gestaltist approach where everything that has to do with the vineyard is micro-analyzed to determine its effect on the vines. From the identification of every weed and insect present in the vineyard, to the effect of the moon, stars and planets, all changes are noted and either encouraged or discouraged, depending on their effects.
Though the verdict is still out as to how much biodynamic practices impact wine from a sensory standpoint, we certainly know a great wine when we taste one. Ferraton Pere et Fils' blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Cinsault is nothing short of winemaking perfection. It's a complex and mouthwatering swirl of cherry, raspberry and blackberry, balanced by intriguing mineral and spice components. From start to finish, it pleases at every level.