Johann Michel is a self-taught winemaker, with a long family lineage of vignerons in Northern Rhône. His great-grandfather François Michel was one of the founders of the Cornas appellation in 1938. Johann first discovered his passion for wine while tasting old bottles with his grandfather and his uncle, notable winemaker Robert Michel, who was the fourth generation of the Michel family to work as a vigneron in the village of Cornas.
Johann took over a portion of his family’s estate, making his first vintage in 1997. He now farms 4.17 hectares under the ‘Lutte Raisonnée’ method in the lieux-dits ‘Les Cotes’, ‘Bayonnet’, ‘Chaillot’, and ‘Saveaux’ under the Cornas AOC. Cornas is one of the smallest appellations in all of France, and is known for its earthy Syrah—the only grape that can be grown on the steep sand, granite, and limestone slopes of the west side of the Rhône River.
50% Marsanne, 50% Roussanne from 17 year old vines, sitting at 280 meters in elevation on a south east facing slope. The soils are coarse sand, silt and clay and the vineyard is farmed organically.
Initial fermentation happens in stainless steel vats and the transferred into 3-4 year old oak barrels for 9 months. Only 900 bottles produced.