Bernard Faurie has worked hard to build up his small domaine in the Northern Rhône. Until 1980 he was employed in a factory while his father farmed cherry and apricot trees and a small plot of Hermitage vines. Working with his father on vinification sparked his enthusiasm for winemaking and, as he gradually acquired some more land of his own, he began to dedicate all his efforts to his domaine.
Faurie’s small production of old-style Hermitage comes from precious holdings in three top vineyards on the hill of Hermitage, Les Greffiers, closest to the town of Tain, Le Méal further up the hill and Les Bessards to the west. Greffiers contributes finesse, Méal brings weight of fruit while Bessards gives the wine its structure and backbone.
In the cellar Faurie is definitely more expressionist than interventionist, letting the fruit do the talking. Over-zealous oaking is avoided at all costs with the élévage done in a variety of casks with the aim of adding dimension, not changing the dynamic. Faurie also has a few vines on the steep slopes of Saint-Joseph, almost directly opposite his vines on Hermitage. From these he makes good, unpretentious and deliciously fruity wines.