Christophe Blanc is a quality-obsessed vigneron who makes exquisite Northern Rhône wines in exquisitely small quantities from vines planted in and around Condrieu, Saint-Joseph and Côte-Rôtie. Christophe farms just 5ha or so of vineyards (some owned, some rented) on steep, terraced slopes of predominantly decomposed granite overlooking the Rhône river. Christophe used to be a builder in Mâcon. He was a rugby player too. It was after coaching a rugby game for his kids in Ampuis one day 12 or so years ago that he ended up drinking with Yves Cuilleron and Francois Villard - two of the Northern Rhone's most famous growers, who were coaching the other team. When he explained to them that he wanted to pursue his dream of winemaking and was looking in possible locations in the south of France, they gave him a glass of Condrieu. The rest, as they say, is l’histore. Yves and Francois helped him to piece together a few parcels of good land, which Christophe planted himself and has spent the past decade obsessively nurturing. The wines he produces from these small plots – his Condrieu ‘Les Vallins’ comes from a plot right next to Villard's famous 'De Poncins' plot - caught our attention the moment we tasted them. We only wish we could get our hands on more bottles. From the 2019 vintage Christophe has added a Crozes-Hermitage red and white from young-vine syrah and viognier from Serves.