François Grinand – La Vigne du Perron
Villebois - Bugey
Bugey is an area sandwiched between some of the most prestigious winemaking areas of France – Jura, Burgundy, Savoie and the northern Rhone. Often driven through, often neglected, it is an area that is known for sparkling pink wines but can produce some startling expressions of grapes more commonly associated with its well-known neighbours. Here, in Villebois, on the bank of the meandering Rhone, François Grinand tends around 3 hectares of vines on the steep limestone slopes above the village. François has recently started buying a small amount of grapes from growers in Bugey and nearby Savoie to supplement his own production.
His cave is in an unassuming garage in the village and here he presses his grapes (Jaquere, Altesse, Mondeuse, Gamay, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) in his big old basket press, ferments them in fibre glass tanks and ages the wine in old barrels until they are ready. When they are ready they are such vibrant expressions of these grapes that one wonders why Bugey is not more firmly on the map.