Gilles Robin, born in 1971, grew up on a domaine established by his great-grandfather in 1920 and worked closely with his father while studying winemaking before taking over in 1996. Like so many northern Rhône producers, Gilles' first vocation was fruit farming and until recently Gilles owed orchards producing apricots before eventually going full time into wine production. The fruit farmer within him however remains and Gilles takes especial care over the quality of his fruit.
Gilles now owns 15 hectares of vineyard, mostly in Crozes-Hermitage where his vines are close to Chapoutier's Meysonniers, and Jaboulet's Thalabert. When he took over he invested much in the vineyards while adopting a sustainable approach that respects the soil. Everything is done by hand and he employs organic fertilisers, manures and composts and ploughs between the rows. Each parcel is treated differently out of respect for its unique terroir.
To ensure the high quality of his fruit he harvests by hand, selectively and parcel by parcel, before sorting again at the winery. In the winery itself only gravity is used to move grapes, must and wine and fermentations are carried out using natural rather than cultured yeasts. Each parcel is vinified separately so that the signature character of the terroir can shine. His is a much sought after estate and The Society buys just two of his wines, the Crozes-Hermitage red Papillons (unoaked and made from young vines and always fresh and juicy) and Alberic Bouvet, named after his grandfather and a blend of older vines from his best plots. This full, savoury red is aged in oak for about a year and always benefits from ageing.