André Perret lives and works in Verlieu-Chavanay, a small village just south of Vienne in the northern Rhône Valley, the result of his family moving to the area from Chassagne-Montrachet in Burgundy, forced to head south by the pressures of World War Two.
Having set out studying biology and cancer research, he decided to change tack and, in 1982, he completed his degree in oenology and took on a small patch of vines that had once belonged to his uncle.
At the time the area was dominated by fruit orchards and only one or two other growers were in Chavanay. With great faith in the terroir André worked hard to develop the land and plant vineyards, evangelising what he knew about the land and making wines that made people stand up and take notice.
His Condrieu wines are benchmarks for the appellation, including several single-vineyard cuvées, and he makes other wines under the Collines Rhodaniennes, Saint-Joseph and Côtes-du-Rhône.
He works for low yields, eschewing the use of chemicals and keeping his parcels small and in the best terroirs so that he can work them by hand. His whites he matures in one and two-year-old barrels so that the viognier fruit can blossom in scent and flavour.
The Coteau de Chéry is his finest Condrieu cuvée, made from a three-hectare plot of old vines on steep terraces of well exposed vines. Coteau de Chéry is just about the best there is and André Perret makes the best, always combining power and grace effortlessly.