Tue 10 May 2016

Bringing Gigondas To The UK


Around a year ago, a small party of lucky members, random winners of our Buyers’ Tour competition, met up one morning in Saint Pancras.

Six hours or so later, we were in the Rhône valley tasting our first wine. The highlight of the trip was a safari-style excursion in Gigondas, aboard two Land Rovers, one coming from Clos de Cazaux, the other generously on loan from the Beaumes de Venise co-op.

Jean-Michel Vache bought the Cazaux land rover ex-United Nations, where it had seen service in Bosnia and Kossovo. But that’s another story!

The trip had been hugely successful and it got me thinking:

Why not bring Gigondas to the UK?

Gigondas Masterclass - The Wines

The Land Rovers were left behind.

Instead five Gigondas producers came over, first to London and then the following day to Newcastle, and they gave an hour-long masterclass on Gigondas as part of our annual Rhône event.

There were eight vintages shown, from the youthful fruit of a 2014 to the majesty of 2007.

Me introducing the event

Me introducing the event

Gigondas itself was represented by the aforementioned Jean-Michel Vache, showing a mighty 2009, Thierry Faravel of Domaine la Bouïssière, Jean-Baptiste Meunier of Moulin de la Gardette, Louis Barruol of Chateau Saint-Cosme and Henri-Claude Amadieu of Domaine Amadieu.

A reason why it worked so well is that the growers are all mates, some very close, so there was no infighting and no jealousies.

The growers

The growers

Gigondas is a not an especially large appellation and all of it pulls well together. It is heartening to see members’ enthusiasm for the wines on the rise, and perhaps we’ll do it again sometime!

In the meantime, our current offering of affordable pleasures from the excellent Rhône 2014 vintage features a delicious juicy red from Moulin de Gardette (£13.50), as well as what would be a blueprint for white Gigondas, if such a wine legally existed, from Amadieu (£9.95).

Marcel Orford-Williams
Society Buyer


  1. Ron Birch says:

    Between London and Newcastle is an area called “The Midlands” which, as its name suggests, is in the middle. Any chance of a future Rhone event being held in the region?
    If it helps you make a favourable decision, you only have to turn left off the M1 onto the M6, and you save on fuel as it’s closer to London than Newcastle. Please don’t go too far along the M6 – Manchester is too wet.

    • Jules Harrison says:

      ..but we’re often left out in Newcastle as seen as too far north, excellent decision to visit London and Newcastle.

    • Ewan Murray says:

      Hello Ron – Apologies for the late reply – only just picked up your comment.
      We come to Birmingham at least once a year, most recently with Spain, Bordeaux, Italy, South America. Checking our records it was 2003 when we last brought the Rhône to Birmingham, so I will nudge the tastings team accordingly.
      Best wishes, Ewan.

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