The bright and talented Alain Gallety began making wine in the Côtes du Vivarais alongside his father. Together, they had a vision. They built a state-of-the-art winery, constructed right into the hillside below their high-altitude vineyards. Today, Alain’s son, David-Alexandre, works with him. Quietly and diligently, they imagine one day making one of the greatest cuvées of the Southern Rhône. One wouldn’t initially think such a goal is easy to achieve in a little known area as the Vivarais. The Côtes run down the western flank of the Rhône, just south of Montélimar in the Ardèche. Although these hills mirror those of the Côtes-du-Rhône on the opposite bank of the river, the Côtes du Vivarais was only recently awarded A.O.C. in 1999. Over a decade later, the region is finally starting to receive the attention it deserves, both as a cooler and wetter climate than its neighbors across the river, but with a longer ripening season. The wines here stand as a gateway between the Northern and Southern Rhône, frequently seeing equal blends of the noble grapes, Syrah and Grenache.
Though the Galletys reside here, making their exquisite blends with pride, determination, and focus, their minds are frequently traveling to other regions in France, where they are closely studying the methodologies and techniques of their contemporaries. Alain takes every aspect of the process seriously. To grow the quality of grapes he wants, he farms his fifteen hectares of vineyards organically, as he has done since the early 80’s. To best insure freshness, he has installed top-loading, hatch doors over their gravity-fed cuves, so that the grapes go exactly where they need to immediately following the harvest—bypassing the cellar completely to begin their fermentation. The wines are then aged in Burgundian barrels, as the Galletys believe them to produce wines with greater finesse. Today, they are planting a vineyard so stony and wild that it will have to be worked by a draft horse. Alain Gallety is indeed a man of vision. Domaine Gallety is a new acquisition to the KLWM portfolio, but one well-positioned for stardom with wines of such brightness, density, and impeccable balance.