Francois Villard, Saint-Michel-Sur-Rhône

François Villard works with more than 35 hectares of vines across some of the best terroirs of Northern Rhône, along with a few purchased parcels of grapes, meaning he has a veritable mosaic of different soils, expositions and climates in his various vineyard plots. He makes 6 crus, and 20 different cuvées.

His wines are highly complex, concentrated, powerful and graceful since his strategy is to allow for the most optimal ripening possible, even allowing some botrytis to develop on the white grapes. He works by hand in his vineyards, harvesting the grapes in very small baskets along extremely narrow terraces.

Self-taught as a winemaker, Villard counts Yves Cuilleron as one of his mentors, and adheres to very strict farming practices without the use of pesticides and slowly but surely reducing the use of any chemicals at all.

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