Château-Grillet is a famous monopole vineyard lying entirely within the Condrieu appellation, and, like Condrieu, making 100% varietal Viognier white wine in a very rich, expansive floral style. The wine is bottled at the neighboring Neyret-Gachet domaine, but it is made only by the Château-Grillet producer. At approximately nine acres, with production of only about 1,000 cases, it is one of the smallest appellations in France and is comparable to the tiny Burgundian vineyards. As a result, the wines made are extremely exclusive.
Long owned by its single producer, this appellation was one of the first in France to receive AOC status in 1936.
Climate and Viticulture
Located on cliffs high above the Condrieu appellation (just like Burgundy, where many Grand Cru vineyards hang ponderously over lower-level vineyards), the appellation has a distinct soil made up of granite and fragmented sand. Sun exposure is higher than in the regular Condrieu region, although the weather is not notably hotter.
Like its container appellation, Château-Grillet uses only the white Viognier grape to make its wines. Château-Grillet wines are known for being remarkably vibrant and intense in their first few years of life. Full of floral, herbal flavors, these concentrated wines often need 10 years to soften up and become more rich, sweet, and fruity. Often compared to red wine for their power, high serving temperature, and ageability, Château-Grillet wines are certainly unique. Prices are quite reasonable considering the exclusivity of the vineyard, ranging from $75-$125 depending on the vintage.
There is only one producer in Château-Grillet; see above for a description of its wines. Note that the Château-Grillet producer also makes a good regular Condrieu.
Château-Grillet is just a vineyard and has no subregions of its own.