Born and raised in Condrieu in the northern Rhone, Pierre Benetiere fell in love with the intensely floral and airy charms of Viognier at an early age. He told me that the first time he tasted some of the benchmark wines of Georges Vernay, he decided that he wanted to drink such a wine for the rest of his life. He accordingly apprenticed with the master, Pierre Benetière is an alumnus of domaine Georges Vernay!, and says that he learned more in one single year with Vernay than he could have possibly learned in ten years with anyone else.
He owned no vineyards, and had little money. Undeterred, he purchased a unplanted parcel at Cote Rotie’s southern limit just north of Condrieu in the granitic lieu dit Corps de Loup. He spent the next several years manually carving out terraces and planting vines, a feat of insane physical proportion that continues to this day. Soon after came two parcels in Condrieu in the lieu-dits le Tinal and Riollement. The final crowning-gem addition to his holdings was a small parcel of old vines in the heart of Cote Rotie’s famed la Turque vineyard. This veritable Grand cru site combines qualities of both brune and blonde soils, silicate limestone and iron and clay rich schistes.
In this small patchwork of vineyards, Pierre labored for over fifteen years without profiting a dime. Supported by his wife Marie, he incessantly fought for his dream.
His traditionalist house style slowly garnered attention from insiders, but he managed to avoid the limelight, eschewing trade shows and the press. He simply continued on his own path knowing that as long as he focused his energies on his vineyards, giving his best so that the vines and soil could give their best, that financial stability would someday arrive as a bi-product. Today, he is finally receiving his due, considered one of brightest stars in all of the northern Rhone by both his peers and hard core Rhone afficcionados all over the world.Read more