The newly released annual edition of France’s Le Nouveau Bettane + Desseauve includes an amazing tribute to Philippe Guigal, naming him as this year’s Génie du Vin (genius of wine). The feature story highlight’s Phillippe’s leadership not only at his family’s estate, E. Guigal, and in the greater Rhône region, but also among the entire wine industry in France. As a reference, this publication is produced by Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, two of France’s most respected wine journalists, and presents the best wines of France, personal profiles, reports on different regions and restaurant reviews.
A rough translation and excerpt of the story can be reviewed here:
“The health and economic crisis that we are going through has shaken so many structures and businesses. Worse still, it has destroyed vocations, shattered the hopes of some, and broken the dreams of others. An alarming and painful finding, especially as the page never seems to want to turn. When it comes to choosing a genius of the year, the Nouveau Bettane + Desseauve reflects, examines and deliberates as much as it hesitates, doubts and procrastinates. Among the women and men who make up the people of the vines, how many deserve this reward for their selflessness and their resilience in the face of so many difficulties? How many are they, mentally exhausted, physically drained, worn out by a heavy market and cruel bad weather?
It’s all already too much, no doubt, yet the battle has only just begun. How can we help them? By giving them a captain, indefatigable, unwavering, incorruptible. From Marcel, his father, Philippe Guigal inherited a rare talent. Know how to pull together. All over France, among wine lovers and in the vineyards that we travel through, this family name is cited as an example, as a reference, as a landmark. The estate of Ampuis is home port, safe and welcoming, where people come to put down their doubts and to leave with reassurance. First of all in terms of style and, for some years, also in terms of viticulture. First-rate negociant (perhaps the best-known family in France for this activity), accomplished winegrower (the single vineyards in Côte-Rôtie are at the top of the appellation), businessman committed to the listening to consumers, defender of the terroirs of the northern Rhone and their development– Philippe Guigal will certainly not have the time, in addition to his countless activities, to assume this status of captain of our French vineyard. Nevertheless, his sense of duty, his composure, his restless diligence, his politeness and exemplary availability naturally make him an essential figure in our viticulture. The French vineyard is an unstoppable, inextinguishable force. In its mad rush, it needed someone to hold the helm firmly and lead it in the right direction. He is our genius of wine.“