Guigal believes, as do a number of top producers working in the area, that Saint-Joseph will be one of the great stories in the next few decades, reaching the renown it received several hundred years ago.
The 30 mile long district of Saint Joseph, along the Western bank of the Rhône, extends from the southern part of Condrieu, through and around the town of Tournon (across the Rhône from Hermitage), to the northern boundary of Cornas. It comprises nearly 2,500 acres, planted about 90% to Syrah and 10% to Marsanne and Roussanne. Around Tournon, the true heart and origin of the appellation, more white grapes are grown. As in Hermitage, Marsanne seems to ripen better than Roussanne and now dominates.
Guigal's Saint-Joseph Lieu Dit comes from the vineyard that gives the appellation its name, and is one of the finest sites in the Northern Rhone Valley. Guigal owns the majority of this parcel, with 14 acres in total, 60% of which is planted to red grapes and 40% to white grapes. The vines are from 20 to 75 years of age, planted on steep slopes of gneiss with streaks of granite, and produce yields of only around 1.9 tons per acre. The special, full-bodied dry white wine that results is deep and rich, and gains in complexity with Guigal's aging approach.