Based in Mauves, Gripa is one of the old-line domaines in the heart of the original St-Joseph appellation with vines in Mauves and Tournon. The Gripa family have been winemakers here since the 17th century with Bernard commencing bottling of the domaine's own wine in 1974. Bernard is a very thoughtful vigneron, always with an insightful perspective on the local winemaking scene. Now in his seventies, he is happiest when working and is still in charge of ploughing their vineyards.
Notes on the producer
Very unusually in the Northern Rhône, the 17.6ha of vineyards owned by Fabrice and Bernard Gripa comprise a majority of white grapes, with 9.05ha of marsanne and roussanne split 4.95ha of St-Péray and 4.10ha St-Joseph, together with 8.55ha of St-Joseph red.
In each appellation, there are two cuvées, a general blend, and a selection from the best plots (called Le Berceau for St-Joseph in both red and white, and Les Figuiers in St-Péray). Not surprisingly with such an important holding the whites are a speciality here. The big difference between St-Péray and the white St-Joseph is, of course, the soils, with granite for St-Joseph and loess, clay and Jurassic limestone at St Péray, where the wines always have an extra lick of acidity (and markedly lower ph levels of around 3.40). Usually, after five years the fruits of all the whites start to close down, and savoury almost herbal notes appear, a bit sooner for a hot vintage, a bit later for a cool vintage. Fabrice likes to drink their whites at around four years old but they age magnificently, becoming even more savoury and mineral around their tenth year.