Franck Balthazar has been blessed with the laid-back demeanor necessary to crafting flawless wines, as well as with the opportunity to work a 97-year old parcel purchased from his uncle, Noël Verset.
The domaine was founded in 1931 by Franck’s grandfather, Casmir Balthazar with its first bottling in 1980. Franck took over the 2 hectare family estate from his father René in 2002. He started with just one hectare of century old vines and one of forty-year old. Since then he has since expanded to 3.5 hectares of Syrah and makes about 8,000 bottles each year in a small cellar.
His philosophy in the vineyard and in the cellar is purely traditional, reflective of the great Cornas producers who preceded him. In the vineyard and the cellar, he is a one-man show: he plows the vineyards with the aid of a horse, he ferments the grapes with the stems intact, with some pumping over and light pigeage, and ages the wine in demi-muid.
Franck is a purist and has perfected his method of cultivation and vinification of Syrah.