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Perrin et Fils
The Perrin family have been making wine in the Rhône Valley since 1909, when the great-grandfather of Jean-Pierre and François Perrin bought, originally as a weekend and summer retreat from the town, Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. His son-in-law, Pierre, took on the running of the vineyard that was already there, but had become very overgrown, and Beaucastel is now one of the top estates in the Rhône Valley. In the seventies, Pierre's son, Jacques, with his son, Jean-Pierre, set up La Vieille Ferme, anégociant business selling a good value pair of wines from the Rhône Valley - bringing the expertise and attention to detail from sixty years of making top-of-the-range wine to slightly more humble appellations. Over the years, and with the addition of Jean-Pierre's sons, Marc, Pierre andThomas to the family business, this has grown into a range of ‘cru' wines that embody theindividuality and character of each of their appellation areas including Vinsobres and Gigondas. Château de Beaucastel is the flagship estate of the Perrin family, masters of the Southern Rhône. This family are a winemaking powerhouse, and admired for both the benchmark examples produced from across the Southern Rhône appellations as well as for the heights of Beaucastel itself. The Beaucastel vines are all in one large 110 hectare block at the northern end of the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation. The plot contains all the archetypal soil types of the region: sand, clay and limestone, with pudding stone pebbles on the surface. Their Coudoulet vines lie just beyond the northern boundary of the appellation and convey much of the typicity of a Châteauneuf in a more accessible format (and with the inclusion of varieties like Marsanne and Viognier not permitted within Châteauneuf itself). The estate famously grows all thirteen varieties historically permitted within the Châteauneuf appellation, with a high proportion of the late ripening Mourvèdre.
At the very southern tip of Burgundy, to the west of Villefranche-sur-Saone, lie the vineyards of Beaujolais. Light years from the illustrious slopes of the Cote d'Or, this is the home of the Gamay grape which thrives on granite soils. The grapes are vinified whole which results in lovely, fresh fruity red wines for early drinking. Brouilly is one of ten crus in the area producing a higher quality of wine than straightforward Beaujolais or Beaujolais villages.