FRANCE > RHÔNE > NORTHERN RHÔNE

Thibaud Capellaro Slope

practicing organic farming (not certified)
practicing biodynamic farming (not certified)
organic farming (certified)
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Grape Varieties

Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne

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Appellation(s)

AOP Côte-rôtie, Vin de France

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Region(s)

France > Rhône > Northern Rhône

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Size

1 ha

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Grapes Sourcing

Growing & Buying grapes

Thibaud Capellaro is a young winemaker established in the renowned wine town of Condrieu in Northern Rhône. His first wines are very promising, showing he is not afraid to find his own path and venture outside of the comfort zone of the regional conventions in Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu. Thibaud is a first generation winemaker, although he is a local and grew up in the area. After studies in business, instead of pursuing a more standard career path, Thibaud decided to go chase his dreams and to follow his passion for wine. He established his own operation in Condrieu following experiences working with winemakers in France (André Perret, Domaine Joblot, Chateau le Devay, Domaine Duclaux…) and in Australia (Adam Foster, Syrahmi). At first he was renting a basement, but he recently moved to a new winery with all the room he needs to experiment and grow.

Thibaud’s project is two-fold. First is called Slope, which is a négoce project, for which he sources grapes from small, organic growers in the region. The vineyards are in Ardèche, on the St. Joseph appellation, and the Rhône, on the “Monts du Lyonnais”, an area that usually produces the “Coteaux du Lyonnais.”

Second is his own domain, wines made from grapes he farms himself. Anybody who knows the cost of a vineyard in Ampuis or even Condrieu would be scared, but not Thibaud. He was able to buy two plots from François Bouillot-Salomon as well as other unplanted plots from an elderly owner. These plots were not considered ideal in the past, especially because the exposure was not fully facing south. But with the effects of climate change and the ever increasing temperatures in the region, the vineyard exposure works just fine for Thibaud. He has been farming them for three years now, planting and re-building terraces. Here as well, Thibaud’s determination seems up to the challenge. It is for a reason we speak about “heroic farming” when talking about the growers working on the terraces of Ampuis, which are some of the steepest vineyards in the world. Working them organically just makes it even harder.

Thibaud’s winemaking is still a bit unusual for the area, where it’s tempting and probably easier to repeat what the majority of winemakers are doing. He is clearly on the natural side, adept at minimal intervention, relying only on native yeast for spontaneous fermentation, and trying to reveal the full range of aromatics and flavors of the fruit and terroir, rather than produce new flavors through his vinification. He is working and experimenting with many vessels, from used oak barrels, stainless steel, fiberglass, and even terracotta and ceramic. He is transparent on the amount of SO2 he may use — some wines get a small dose only before bottling, and others are finished without any additions.

Thibaud’s wines feel like him: they are honest, unafraid to be different and they don’t even care about it. They are sound and humble, slowly revealing depth and structure that you might not feel at first approach.

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