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The Colombo family - Jean-Luc, his wife Anne and daughter Laure, all actively involved in the business

The Rhône Valley encompasses two distinct wine regions, separated by differing climate conditions, soils and grapes.

Donkey in the vineyard below the Colombo family home

The northern Rhône with a granitic soil produces red wines dominated by the inky-black Syrah grape and white wines from Viognier, Roussane and Marsanne. The southern Rhône, with a soil covered by pebbles from the Rhône river, produces red wines which are a blend of several grape varieties, primarily Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre and white wines with Clairette and Grenache Blanc.

Regional map of the Rhône valley showing locations of key sources of grapes for the Colombo wines
The Rhône valley and key sources of grapes for the Colombo wines

Managed by Anne Colombo, top-quality fruit is sourced from Colombo’s own 30ha of vineyards in the Northern Rhône, situated primarily in Cornas and Saint-Peray, and from his 20ha in the ‘Blue Coast’ which is used in some of his Vins de Pays wines.

The remainder of its needs are sourced through Jean-Luc’s contacts, which have been established over the last three decades during his work as a technical wine consultant, giving him access to 50 domaines – over 400ha in the Northern Rhône, and 1200ha in the Southern Rhône and Provence.

Cornas is their speciality and is regarded by many as the appellation to look out for in the Rhône. The challenging, steep hillsides of pure granite, produce the finest 100% Syrah. All fruit is hand-picked, which is understandable once you’ve stood in one of the vineyards! Jean-Luc is also passionate about irrigation – there is none. They have a sustainable approach to vineyard development and viticulture, and they are even rebuilding lost vineyards back to their original form.