Thierry Allemand - Cornas

Thierry Allemand

The Cornas denomination has reawakened in recent years after a long time. Although they were wines once celebrated by Charlemagne, over the past hundred years they were considered among the least important wines of the Northern Rhône. The hard, tannic wines of the great winemakers have given the appellation a bad reputation, and the rough, scratchy terraces that line the banks of this stretch of the river have paralyzed even the most robust vignerons. At the beginning of the twentieth century many vineyards here had already fallen into ruin. In the 1980s, a slow insurgency of passionate winemakers began to revive the vines, with Thierry Allemand deep in the fray. Thierry was working at Domaine Robert Michel at the time. Young and eager, he was learning the secrets of the trade of terrace farming, pruning, grafting techniques and non-interventionist winemaking. Gradually he began to acquire plots of long-abandoned vineyards, saving some, purchasing others, and renting the rest. Although the work was unbearable, he plunged courageously into the project: he cleared the vineyards overrun with weeds and shrubs, reinforced the terraces, rebuilt the walls and replanted. All by hand. Although it took him fifteen years before he could afford to devote himself fully to his estate (he earned his living as an electrician!), the quiet, monastic Thierry Allemand had already become a legend.

Even the five hectares of land he cultivates seem almost abundant when you consider the diversity and challenge that each plot presents. Despite the criticism it earned when Cornas was considered in decline, some argue that it possesses the best microclimates and greatest terroirs in the Rhône Segrament. Nestled on the hills of the western bank of the Rhone, the Cornas vineyards enjoy maximum exposure to the sun, with exposure from south to south-east. The slopes are composed of both limestone and granite, although Thierry's plots are predominantly located on a robust granite subsoil with some clay. Particularly noteworthy is the solar exposure of its vineyards, which tend to ripen earlier. Thierry vinifies each parcel individually, bringing prestige and recognition to even the smallest places in Cornas.

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