Notes from Bowler Wine:
"Francois Villard was not born into wine; he started out his career as a chef. He grew up between Vienne and Grenoble, in the French countryside. He made his first Condrieu in 1991, a whopping 400 bottles. Today, he makes wine from 64 hectares, of which he owns 40 hectares, from Côte-Rôtie down to Saint Peray, and a little of everything between.
Villard farms sustainably and hopes to be certified organic by 2022. He works his soils and uses organic fertilizers and organic treatments for disease as needed. He’s working with spontaneous fermentations and he’s begun experiments with making wine with very minimal sulfur during vinification and it’s gone well, so he’ll expand on that in the coming years.
In terms of style, Villard tends to harvest later than his neighbors, optimizing ripeness. He uses whole clusters during vinification as the stems give freshness to the wine. Villard will make several passes in the vineyards to wait for the fruit to ripen. He’s using barrels and foudres for aging, some new depending on the cuvée. The reds strike a nice harmony between red fruit notes and spicy earth, classic Northern Rhône."