Jean-Michel Stéphan

Jean-Michel Stéphan (formerly of Guigal) is a different breed of vigneron in Côte Rôtie. Not only does he distance himself from the use of new oak and high alcohol in his wines, he is also a champion of Sérine, a rare cousin of Syrah which has smaller grapes and looser bunches producing lower yields and particularly concentrated wine. Jean-Michel farms three distinct plots in Coteaux de Tupin, Coteaux de Bassenon and Condrieu, all on steep slopes. Like a mountain goat, Jean-Michel cares for his vines without the use of chemicals. His yields are super-low, on average 10H/L. As a follower of Charles Jauvet, his wines are never filtered or fined and the addition of S02 is uncommon. Jean-Michel is not always the most popular with the local AOC police due to his free spirited methods such as occasional use of carbonic maceration for his cuvée 'VSO' (Vin Sans Origin) a tongue-in-cheek name given to the wine after it was denied Cote-Rotie status in 2011.)