Growing up in Cornas, Vincent Paris began his passion for wine at a very young age under the mentorship of his uncle Robert Michel who retired in 2006 (Robert Michel also employed and mentored Thierry Allemand). After inheriting most of his vines from his grandfather, many of which are around 90 years old, Paris began producing wine in 1997 in a small garage before moving to his current facility in 2001. The domaine is comprise of only 8 hectares; 6.5 hectares in Cornas and 1.5 hectares in St. Joseph. Paris also farms around 9 hectares of vines in Crozes-Hermitage which make up his “Vincent Paris Selections” label. As Cornas is a appellation planted to only 120 hectares of vines, it is safe to say that Paris holds a competitive advantage.
Paris farms organically incorporating many biodynamic principles. All vineyard work and harvesting is done manually and vinification is a combination of partial destemming and whole cluster depending on the cuvée. Paris uses a combination of stainless steel vat and both barrique and demi-muid. Only native yeast is used in the fermentation process and no new wood is ever incorporated.
Over the last ten years, Paris explained to us that he has made three main changes in the vineyards and two main changes in the cellar. In the vineyards, Paris has turned all farming practices to organic. He told us during our visit that the main obstacle in his vineyards is not the steep slopes or soil but rather caterpillars who like to destroy the vines. He also removes the majority of leaves around the grape clusters allowing for more direct sunlight on the grape clusters which not only allows for better ripening but protects against disease.
In the cellar, Paris has decreased but has not fully eliminated the use of sulphur. In his 2006 through 2008 vintages, Paris used no sulphur during the winemaking process but after experiencing problems in 2008 with volatile acidity in the wine, he has decided it is necessary but best used in limited quantities. Paris has also decreased the amount pigeage (punch downs) to only once a week. In the 2009 vintage, he found the wines to be a bit over extracted and began the pigeage change in the 2010 vintage.
Paris produces three Cornas cuvées; Granit 30, Granit 60, and La Geynale. Granit 30 from the lieu-dit Les Mazards, which comes from younger vines located on the lieu-dit’s lower east facing slope, the old vine Granite 60 from steeper higher elevated east facing slopes of differentiating lieu-dits, and the south-facing parcel La Geynale planted in 1910 at the bottom of lieu-dit Reynard.