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Regional profile: Condrieu plus 12 wines to seek out

Too richly flavoured for some, nectar to others, Viognier finds its apotheosis in Condrieu. Here in this far-northern Rhône region, up-and-coming winemakers are meeting with aplomb the challenges posed by shifting tastes and rapidly changing climate.

In the 1960s, Viognier nearly died out completely. Many Decanter readers would be horrified by this scenario, but certainly not all – it is, after all, one of the most divisive of grapes. Its birthplace is Condrieu, and the new president of the appellation, Pierre-Jean Villa, is under no illusions. ‘People either like it or they don’t.’ he says. ‘It’s not universally enjoyed like Chardonnay.’ But those that like it, love it. To him, ‘Condrieu is magic – but fragile’. In the face of climate change, he’s helping a new generation of winemakers adapt their winemaking to create a fresher style of wine.

Scroll down to see Matt Walls’ selection of 12 Condrieu wines to try

Finest Viognier: Walls’ 12 Condrieu wines to tempt

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