Francois Dumas, Véranne

Francois Dumas grew up with a restaurateur mother and a fruit farming father in Véranne, between Saint Joseph and Condrieu. He had a dream of being a sports-pro, but the love for wine and food put that to an end so he started to practice for Cave Yves Cuilleron in 2004.

In 2010 he was ready to set off his own project and bought 0,9 hectares in Condrieu and 1 hectare in Saint Joseph spread out over 2 parcels. He planted both sites with old clones, all selection massale in 2010 and 2011. He also purchased a little bit more than 1 hectare on the top of Saint Joseph, in between Saint Joseph and Ardèche, where half was planted with 40 years old Gamay and the rest planted with old selection massale Syrah. In 2013 he finally made his first wines. His idea is to make elegant and pure wines with some classic structure that requires a bit of barrel ageing.

His cellar is situated under his mother’s restaurant in this tiny village of Véranne. It’s small and contains only his old manual press and a few barrels. His annual production is tiny and we are his first export market. It wasn’t easy to get hold of though, he just got himself a computer and answers the phone 1 time every 5 months, so when we finally got our allocation of 280 bottles in total there was a celebration at the office.

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His reds are aromatic, pure, elegant, fruity with fine tannin structure that takes you to the northern Rhône without a doubt.
The whites have expressive fruity aromatics, high concentration and great depth combined with great freshness and salty mineral finish, forget that tiring, heavy stuff you might have tried before.

2018 Condrieu

Soil: Granit, chalk and gravel 180 meters’ altitude, steep, terraced vineyard.
Grape: Viognier
Appellation: AOC Condrieu
Age of Vines: Planted 2010 and 2011
Yields: 18hl/h

Vinification: Direct press by hand with Francois’ old vertical press from another century. Fermented and then aged for 22 months in old demi-muid barrels before bottling.


2018 Gamay

Soil: Granit, quartz, clay and limestone, gravels and sand 380 meters’ altitude, on the plain between Saint Joseph and Ardèche.
Grape: Gamay
Appellation: Vin de France
Age of Vines: Planted 1976
Yields: 25 hl/h

Vinification: 100% whole bunches. Fermenting with the skins for 3,5 weeks in open vats, then gently pressed by hand with Francois’ old vertical press from another century. Aged for 22 months in old barriques before bottling.


2018 Syrah

Soil: Granit, quartz and sand. 380 meters altitude on the plain between Saint Joseph and Ardèche.
Grape: Syrah
Appellation: Vin de France
Age of Vines: Planted 2011
Yields: 25 hl/h

Vinification: 70% whole bunches, the rest is destemmed by hand. Fermenting with the skins for 3,5 weeks in open vats then gently pressed by hand with Francois’ old vertical press from another century. Aged for 22 months in old barriques before bottling.


2018 Saint Joseph 

Soil: Granit and mica schists, 200 meters’ altitude, steep, terraced vineyard.
Grape: Syrah
Appellation: AOP Saint Joseph
Age of Vines: Planted 2010 and 2011
Yields: 18hl/h

Vinification: 100% whole bunches. Fermenting with the skins for 3,5 weeks in open vats, then gently pressed by hand with Francois’ old vertical press from another century. Aged for 22 months in old barriques before bottling.


2018 Vigne de Dom

Soil: Granit
Grape: 30% Rousanne, 30% Marsanne, 20% Chenin Blanc,
20% Riesling, 10% Chardonnay
Appellation: Vin de France
Age of Vines: Planted 2015
Yields: 30hl/h

Vinification: Direct press. Aged for 22 months in old barriques before bottling.


2018 Vigne de Jean

Soil: Granit and sand
Grape: 100% Gamay
Appellation: Vin de France
Age of Vines: Planted 1975
Yields: 35hl/h

Vinification: 80% whole bunches, the rest is destemmed by hand.
3,5 weeks maceration then aged for 22 months in old barriques before bottling.