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René-Jean Dard and François Ribo started their estate in 1984 in a back street of Tain-l’Hermitage. There was about 1HA from Dard’s family, all the rest was rented or slowly acquired over the years.
Born in the towns that face each other across the Rhône River, Tournon in the Ardèche and Tain-l’Hermitage in the Drôme, Dard and Ribo met in wine school in Beaune in their late teens. They work 7.5HA of vines scattered over 7 villages, with most of their holdings in Crozes-Hermitage, some in St-Joseph and a slice of Hermitage.
In their cellar, part of a large farm building in the hamlet of Blanche-Laine in Mercurol, they craft subtle, unextracted Syrah for immediate enjoyment, and several whites from Roussanne and Marsanne. “What we like is natural wine because it’s alive, wine that does not necessarily have to be kept – just drunk and drunk again.” (François Ribo, quoted in John Livingstone-Learmonth’s The Wines of the Northern Rhône , p.382)