Xavier Gérard

It makes good sense to listen closely when a great winemaker or respected critic personally recommends a new name; both Agnes Levet and John Livingstone-Learmonth gave me the 'nod and wink' about Xavier Gérard. The just-thirty Xavier has returned from his youthful worldwide (wine) travels, finally inheriting the family's wonderful old vines in Condrieu's Côte Chatillon and Côte Rôtie's Viaillière and Landonne. François Gérard (his father) worked for Crédit Agricole and used to spend his weekends tending his vineyards, "pottering in the garden" so to speak. He bottled a tiny percentage of his production for his friends and family, selling the bulk to those all-consuming négociants, Jaboulet and Guigal.

Xavier has enormous energy, ambition and drive, as he scales ladders and bounces excitably from one barrel to the next … oh the joy and bounty of youth! One thing is palpably clear though – he totally gets it. A stint with the Levet family taught him the vital importance of work in the vineyards, there's no better place to learn.  And clearly Xavier is a traditionalist at heart, his wonderful wines reflecting their precious soils; his Condrieu Chatillon being a real beauty!