In France’s Northern Rhone Valley, there are few names as revered as Graillot. It was in 1985 that the now legendary Alain Graillot, who after working with the venerable Jacques Seysses at Domaine Dujac, came back to his home in Crozes-Hermitage to start his own domaine. With each passing year his devotion to the art of making hauntingly delicious Syrah from his organically farmed, stone-laden vineyards, has been rewarded with an ever growing and highly dedicated following around the world. Alain’s sons Maxime and Antoine have been in charge since 2008, with Alain working closely alongside them to this day. All the work is still completely the same as it ever was: hand-harvesting, organic farming, whole-cluster fermentation, and aging the wines primarily in 1-to-3 year old barrels purchased from some of the top estates in Burgundy. In great years, the domaine also makes tiny quantities of a barrel selection knows as “La Guiraude,” a rare and remarkably complex wine of particular distinction. The domaine’s status as one of the top domaines in all of France is without question and the whole lineup are must-haves for any serious Northern Rhone fan.
In the space of 20 years, Alain Graillot has made his Crozes Hermitage one of the most sought after of the appellation. With just 20 hectares of vineyards, his wines are sold worldwide on an allocation basis only. They are a special favorite with the most prestigious restaurants in France and elsewhere. Alain has a passion for the Syrah grape from which he makes handcrafted wines of great distinction and enormous elegance. His son Maxime has taken over direction of the estate, with his father remaining in the not too-distant-background.