Wines from the Rhone Valley
From his ancestors …
Xavier Vignon inherited two fundamental values: the love for a job well done, and the capacity to transmit knowledge.
These values will drive him during his career.
After years of branding his wine under « Xavier Vins », the time has come for him to express himself in his own name, Xavier Vignon, as he desires before anything else to share his wines, the fruit of his passion, with people whether they are new wine drinkers, amateurs or connoisseurs.
His style, his Vignon identity
His in-depth knowledge of the Rhone Valley with no less then 34 harvests in every corner of the globe, his mentors, all the vintners he has been working with, and his incredible memory have been forging his style and identity.
Terroir Hunter and a Master Blender, Xavier Vignon is taking the liberty to impregnate his wines with his own history and style.
His « wide screen » vision allows him to inspire himself from Australia or Champagne to blend a Chateauneuf du Pape or his famous cuvée 100%.
Respectful of the environment
tradition, terroir and a free thinker, Xavier is crafting his blends to create different wines, which all have their own personality.
A little mad, or visionnary, Xavier likes to compare himself to an orchestra conductor.
His philosophy and his creations are the result of: a scientific background, a great deal of experience, confidence in others, total involvement, exchange of knowledge, and shared pleasure… whilst keeping his feet on the ground in a human sized structure
Since 2016, Xavier travels the world and deducates all his energy to the creation of his cuvees.
The age of stone
Originating from Picardie in the North of France, Xavier is proud of his « Picard >> roots and of his modest origins. His mother is an agriculturist and his father is a stone mason trained by the craftmans guild “Les Compagnon du Tour de France.” Xavier was brought up the hard way which has given him good, strong values: the love for a job well done, but also a certain contrarian state of mind.
You will be yourself my son
Originating from Picardie in the North of France, Xavier is proud of his « Picard >> roots and of his modest origins. His mother is an Xavier Vignon could have followed in his father footsteps…but his loving parents, proud of their son, a gifted pupil, gave him the liberty to follow his passions : music and natural sciences. His scientific mind flourished in a paleontology club which took him to Champagne, the area where his heart was.agriculturist and his father is a stone mason trained by the craftmans guild “Les Compagnon du Tour de France.” Xavier was brought up the hard way which has given him good, strong values: the love for a job well done, but also a certain contrarian state of mind.
XAVIER is free
Xavier began his studies at the faculty of pharmacy in Reims, to be as close as possible to his hobby. As luck would have it a chance encounter with an oenologist, on Saint Xavier’s Day, would be the starting point to catch the wine bug « That sounded at the time as a dream path, the perfect choice and still is ». He applies for a place in the preparatory class of the french DNO (National Diploma of Oenology). Numerus Clausus (restricted admission numbers), and not belonging to a wine related family, delays his entrance in the Diploma. However, this would enable Xavier to gain valuable experience working in several Champagne houses. Eager to discover the world of wine he will complete no less then thirteen harvests in seven years of which six were in the Southern Hemisphere.
Time to act
Xavier Vignon is finally offered a place in Reims, Bordeaux and Montpellier, but he choses Montpellier as here he had the opportunity to not only study oenology, but also agronomy. With his double diploma in hand he started, somewhat like his father, a Tour de France, working for world class estate’s in Alsace, Bordeaux, and Champagne. He refuses four promising job offers! Opportunities are good, but he prefers to fly to Australia.
Jean-Noël Boidron, Doctor at the Faculty of Bordeaux allowed him to make the link between theory and practice. Scientific methods and the method of tasting linked to the cellar work.
At Moët & Chandon, Dominique Foulon & Pierre Brisson, initiated Xavier into the subtle Art of Blending which allowed him to become a sparkling wine expert; in a festive yet always professional way.
Dominique Portet, son of Lafite Rotschild régisseurs (vineyard and cellar manager); a true friend, having numerous things in common, and a similar path to Xavier, gave him the love for sales and export.
Australia – Provence – There and back
Xavier could have made his career in the Australian Pyrennees, as he was offered a great position, but the nostalgia for Terroir, history…and cheese is too strong.
He decided to take six months to finish his Tour de France and think further about it. The Rhone Valley was a missing region on his map, so he headed there. In 1996 he began his career of consulting winemaker bringing his expertise to thirty estates working for a renowned laboratory in the Vaucluse region.
He would fall in love with the Dentelles de Montmirail, and two years later with his wife, Isabelle.
Xavier gains recognition in the Rhone valley, and several new consulting customers. Amazed by the variety of terroirs and cultivars he will criss cross the Southern Rhone valley.
«20 years ago Southern Rhone was Terra Incognita. » His reputation of slightly mad consultant with innovative techniques, which work, brings more and more customers to his door.
Business to business
Xavier is a down to earth man, going into his customers vineyards… and going forward!. In 1998 he partners with his friend, Dominique Portet to create their own consulting company named Povidis. They quickly reach a hundred estates consulted, and build a strong network of professionnal’s and friend’s around the world.
They will decide the future of Xavier. In 1999, the partnership with Dominique Portet is coming to an end, as Dominique leaves for Australia to create his own winery.
Xavier, on his side starts to create his own Rhone valley blends in his garage, on a very small scale, and without any commercial structure.
His wines are mostly sold to or through friends. One day, a friend and also vintner sends Xavier’s cuvée, without telling him, to the Hachette Guide. One wine is elected « coup de cœur », the highest distinction, attaining as well three stars out of three on all the other cuvées.
Xavier’s phone starts ringing, and the story begins… Shortly after, Xavier will participate in his first trade show and gets his first three importers.
From 2000 to 2003, Xavier Vignon carries on simultaneousley, his consulting activities whilst developing his own brand. On the labels he writes « Xavier Vins » to remain discreet. Both companies are growing quickly.
In 2003, the Oenological institute of Champagne, who invested in a high end laboratory in Sorgues offered Xavier the position of Managing Director ; Xavier accepts the offer and becomes the manager of a small team.
The historical customers of this laboratory mainly located in Chateauneuf du Pape are quickly joined by many more estates, reaching 450 estates all across the Rhone Valley today.
The team grows with one addition per year until 2013.
Meanwhile « Xavier Vins » stays in stand by mode, until…
And the came Jean Pierre
In 2007, Xavier partners with his friend Jean-Pierre Hugues, President of the GSE Group (industrial real estate) and owner of the Domaine de La Royère in the Lubéron.
This partnership will reinforce the existing structure allowing the development of a wider range of wines and bringing more credibility to the brand.
The day Bob came
In 2009, Xavier wins a tender with his 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape in Sweden and is shortly after elected « Best Châteauneuf du Pape in Sweden » by the famous wine magazine « Varlens Vinder ».
Robert Parker hears about this and visits Xavier to try his cuvées. All of them are rated 90 points and up!, orders are flowing….
In 2012 Xavier leaves the management of the IOC laboratory (Oenological Institute of Champagne), but remains part of the lab as a senior consultant. He devotes more time to his own wine and the management of Xavier Vins.
Along the years the team has been growing to support the success of Xavier’s wines.
A young and energetic team with atypical yet complementary profiles is supporting Xavier to serve more than 200 customers in 25 different countries across the globe.
Besides his Rhone activities, Xavier is bringing his expertise to different areas of the work and devotes all his team to crafting his cuvées.
Each cuvée from the Arcane series is the expression of a vintage, un grape variety or a terroir.
These cuvées are available only once, then disappear and are replaced by new arcanes coming from other blends and terroirs.
The Xavier Vignon know-how at the service of the wines from the south of the Rhône valley. Below is a non-exhaustive selection.