In 1992, Éric went back to Bordeaux to formally study viticulture and oenology at Bordeaux University. When he finished he worked with Jean-Marie Guffens at Verget. Guffens, who above all respected the terroir and strived to make wines reflecting the terroir, taught Éric to use the lees to enhance the wine's natural flavors rather than discard them as byproducts of winemaking. He also taught to embrace the botrytis affected grapes to produce superbly concentrated sweet wines. And it was there that Éric developed the abilities to determine the vigneron's viticulture practices and to only buy from growers who had respected the terroir and used minimal intervention into the natural life cycle (generally organic principles of little to no herbicides, no machines, etc.).
Applying old world traditions and experience with the new world's freedom Éric made his first wine in 1995. He began in the Mâconnais (a department in the Bourgogne region) and soon expanded to the Nôrthern Rhône which lead him still further south to the many Côte du Rhône villages and finally to Châteauneuf du Pape.
Today Éric produces approximately 25 unique wines each year that can be found in more than 10 countries around the world. View all Eric Texier Wines
About Cotes du RhoneView a map of Cotes du Rhone wineries
The appellation of Côtes du Rhône encompasses much of the land of the area, not to mention much of the wine – over two-thirds of the wine produced here is of the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation. Wines here need only be from the Côtes de Rhône geographic area (which is fairly large) and consist of one or more of the 22 varieties permitted. Being such a wide classification, it's a surprise and joy that so many of these wines reach such a high quality. While there are areas in the Northern Rhône that meet the classification of Côtes du Rhône, most all of this appellation is in the Southern Rhône. Wines here are based mostly on Grenache, like other Rhône reds, while the whites focus on Marsanne and Roussanne. Viognier is also allowed although typically used in smaller quantities.
Notable FactsThere is one higher level in the Côtes du Rhône called Côtes du Rhône Villages. These wines are from specific village areas that have a few more standards the wine must reach to receive the village label. Some to take note of are Cairanne, Rasteau, Seguret and Beaumes-de-Venise. The good thing about both Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages is that big producers of the smaller appellations are taking the opportunity and freedom offered by this broad appellation and creating wines of very high quality, and lower in price.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.