Wine Source presents: Julien Cécillon, Tournon-sur-Rhône
We are thrilled to introduce Julien Cécillon to the Wine Source Portfolio.
We discovered Julien Cécillon at a sommelier's gathering in the Rhône after we turned to a dapper gentleman to say “Taste this St-Joseph, it’s wonderful!” and he replied “Glad you think so – it’s mine”. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Cécillon is a native of Tournon-sur-Rhône and nephew of Jean Louis Grippat. After a career in business, in 2008 Cécillon returned to his roots and began retraining in wine production, travelling the world to learn different ways of making wine. During a trip to California he met Nancy Kerschen, a sommelier, who is now his wife and winemaking partner.
Having combined experiences working for various international wineries (Yves Cuilleron, Christophe Curtat, Fabrice Gripa, JC Cellars, Clos du Val, Saintsbury, Indevin and Saronsberg), the two decided to embark on their own winemaking endeavour and in 2011 they founded Cave Julien Cécillon in the appellations of Saint Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage.
Respecting the unique environment of each appellation, the estate applies sustainable grape-growing techniques in the vineyard to achieve the best expression of terroir in every bottle. Based on their collective experiences, they blend modern techniques with old world traditions and growing methods to achieve well-structured, graceful, food-friendly wines.
Together they work on selected hillside vineyards in Northern Rhône to create elegant, terroir-driven, food-friendly wines. The pair practise reflective viticulture: they have not applied for certification in organic farming but are constantly working to minimize the use of chemicals. Harvests are manual; reds are destemmed; fermentations are with indigenous yeasts. Punchdowns and pumpovers are limited, to extract as softly as possible. The earliest wines are released after 13 months of aging – always in old barrels – while the latest are bottled on average at 17 months.
Their vines are found in the south of the Saint-Joseph appellation, in the communes of Tournon-sur-Rhône and Saint-Jean de Muzols. In 2013, they took over the farming of a beautiful Crozes-Hermitage vineyard located on granitic soil near the Hermitage. This is also where their white Saint Joseph was born. In 2014, they developed a Vin de France Syrah and a Saint-Péray and have recently planted Viognier vines just in front of the "cradle" of Saint-Joseph, which should in a few years give wines of great interest.