I’ll Drink to That: Rhône Vintner Jean Gonon

Episode 439 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and features Jean Gonon of Domaine Pierre Gonon in the Saint-Joseph appellation of France’s Northern Rhône Valley.

Domaine Pierre Gonon has moved to the top rank of Saint-Joseph producers today, and Jean Gonon is clear about the reason why: proper farming of old vines. “Our real work is not winemaking, it is farming,” says Jean, and he describes the winemaking process as fairly simple if you do what is right when working the vines. He also describes the nature of the different terroirs that he is working with, and this episode is a treasure trove for anyone who wants to better understand the classic southern portion of Saint-Joseph around Tournon, Mauves, and Saint-Jean-de-Muzols. That last-named village is the home of the vines that the Gonon family purchased from the legendary Raymond Trollat, and Jean speaks quite a bit about Trollat in this interview. If you want to understand the context of the generational changes in Saint-Joseph, this episode is for you. The hand-off from one generation to the next, and the sense that no one is ever really on their own with the vines, are constant themes underlying what is said in the discussion.

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I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine