The youthful boost in the Rhône Valley
These two longtime friends had this common desire to make wine together but not necessarily planned to land in Ardèche. Here are Thomas and Cyprien, from Vindiou based in the heart of the Rhône Valley, where Syrah has been growing for decades. Winemakers at heart, the project to plant vines is already underway. For now, we let you enjoy the freshness of their sunny wines.
The meeting and the birth of Vindiou
It all started in 2014 between the two friends, and more exactly the opposite of where they are now, in Saint-Emilion. Thomas and Cyprien carry out their first harvest together. Thereafter, they will continue to gain experience for three years, between the vineyard and the cellar. They then embark on a Bachelor Viti-Oeno before leaving, each on their own, around the world.
Between them, they will have vinified across three continents, including eight different countries. Their goal was to learn new cultures, different winemaking methods, learn even more about wine but abroad.
Then they meet again after 6 years and 16 winemaking process later, and the idea of making wine together. There is a common desire to revive small soils. Soon, the project to introduce you to grape varieties discovered during their travels will arrive, foreign grape varieties vinified in the Rhône Valley. A great story to follow.
Vindiou 's two friends had no destination in sight, so it was by chance that they found themselves in Ardèche. Thomas is lucky to have his grandparents' barn available. The Vindiou then settled in the village of Plat, where they overlook the northern part of the Rhône Valley, where Syrah exalts through five appellations.
Thomas and Cyprien from Vindiou are sensitive and respectful of the environment on which they have the chance to grow. For them, they are the simple “passers of a magnificent heritage”, one that has linked earth, sky and men for millennia.
Vindiou, passionate about winemaking process and unique soils
Located not far from Beaujolais and the mythical Gamay, Vindiou is at the gateway to the south of the Rhône Valley, where the grapes soak up the sun. Thomas and Cyprien do not yet have their own vines, even if the project has been underway since 2022. It is therefore towards winegrowers with common values with Vindiou that the two friends are turning. They want to highlight the grapes of winegrowers who like to bring their land to life. They therefore buy organic grapes from the different terroirs of Beaujolais, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage and in the south of the Rhône Valley.
“ It is then up to us to transform this potential, to work these grapes with humility and respect, a work to which we devote ourselves with pleasure and passion ” say the two friends. It is often said at Epicurieux, a clean vine makes it possible to produce healthy grapes, and healthy grapes produce real soil wines.
Thomas and Cyprien, from Vindiou, carefully choose their grapes, depending on the winemaker and their work. Their wines are based on the harvest, the choice is essential. They will pay attention to the vintage, to the weather, they will taste at the plot, they invest themselves with the winemaker to follow the grapes as much as possible.
Once the grapes have been harvested, the friends of Vindiou want to be as precise as possible in the cellar, precisely to minimize intervention during the winemaking process and bring out the freshness of their wines, coming from warm soils.
Thomas and Cyprien therefore harvest manually with the partner winegrowers with whom they work, in 30-litre boxes. This limits crushed grapes before placing in vats. The grapes are first placed in a fridge trailer to be cold-vatted and pick up fruit for vinification. Each winemaking process is carried out in whole bunches, only the indigenous yeasts intervene, there is a light treading at the time of vatting (not on the whole). Pressing, a sentimental step for the two friends, who use a ratchet press, for an average of 20 hours per press.
There is also a maceration which obviously varies according to the vintage and different criteria.
Wines made by Thomas and Cyprien, Vindiou
Thomas and Cyprien therefore vinify the grapes they buy from winegrowers who work with the greatest respect for the environment. What they want is above all to transcribe the soil in their bottles.
After a very rigorous and precise vinification, Vindiou ages the wines in vats or barrels depending on the wine. The barrels are aged from 2 to 4 wines. There is a very low sulfiting if necessary at bottling.
Red wines from the soils signed Vindiou, so it gives fresh wines, wines on the fruit as we like to find in this wine region.
There is the L'amour est cerise 2021 bottle, a little nod to music by Jean Ferrat that the two friends appreciate. This blend of Cinsault, Gamay and Merlot is astonishing as it is greedy, delicate and spicy. 1 liter format that reflects the soil.
Second blend for the Syrah Cinsault 2021. 80% Syrah, we let you do the math for the rest. Two grape varieties that have co-fermented, a passage in barrels of 2018 to round off the whole and the whole is successful. A spicy side facing a gourmet side, very pretty!
Finally, they still benefit from the Saint-Joseph appellation on the Rancure 2021 plot. The pure expression of Saint-Joseph in a style of the 90s. A fruity, structured and delicious Syrah. Have a try!
We had the chance to discover them, grape varieties worked in the Thomas and Cyprien way, it's worth the tasting.