Jean-Michel Stephan is a rising star who is gaining recognition for his unfiltered and hypernatural Cote-Roties. His home and cellar are in the tiny village of Tupin-Semons at the base of the Coteaux de Tupin. A Belleville alumnus, Jean-Michel developed hands-on winemaking experience as Marcel Guigal’s assistant. In the mid-1990s, Jean-Michel implemented organic farming and has since converted his entire estate. He cultivates soils around older vines with a pick axe, hand harvests and sorts his grapes, practices slow and soft vinification and ages his wines with minimal SO2 treatments – he considers these painstaking efforts necessary to allow his great terroir to reveal itself. His small 11 acre parcel spans the Cote Blonde (90%) and the Cote Brune (10%) and is predominately planted to Syrah, followed by Serine (the small berry ancestor of Syrah) and Viognier. On average, his vines are 50 years old although some vines are more 100 years old.