The story behind E. Guigal winery is a long and fascinating one, which takes in much of the modern history of the Rhone Valley. This special part of France has always been associated with some of the country’s finest wines, and this in part is due to wineries such as E. Guigal. The story begins in the 1930s, when young Etienne Guigal was sent off by his family to work in the mines, but fearing for his safety, he instead chose to pick apricots in Ampuis, and felt far more comfortable in the fields than he ever did underground. At the age of 14, his older brother secured him work in Vidal Fleury - the most prominent and famous of Rhone wineries at the time - and he quickly developed a passion for viticulture that saw him rise through the ranks over the course of fifteen years. By 1946, he was ready to set up his own winery, determined to maintain the reputation of the Rhone Valley which had slipped during the wartime years.
The winery was passed to Etienne’s son, Marcel, who took E. Guigal from strength to strength, bringing attention back to the beautiful sub-region of Cotes-Rotie, a historic wine region which had been a centre of oenology for two and a half thousand years before falling out of favor in the early twentieth century. Marcel passed the torch to his own son, Phillipe, who continues to work as head vintner and oenologist at E. Guigal to this day.
This particular winery is one which is dedicated to the utmost in excellence, and uses the skills and knowledge gained over three hard-working generations to produce wines which are the very essence of the best Rhone appellations. Part of this dedication to perfection is due to the fact that E. Guigal is extremely particular about which vineyards are purchased - they have a determination to only use land which is capable of producing the finest wines worthy of their name. With viticultural methods that favor long term excellence over short term results, steeply sloping vineyards which reveal low-yielding, highly expressive grapes and traditional techniques, E. Guigal is rightly recognized as one of the finest wineries the Rhone Valley has ever seen.