On a recent visit to the Rhone we were driving, lost, around the back streets of Ampuis looking for our next appointment when the road came to an end opposite the impressive edifice of the Chateau d’Ampuis, the 12th century palace of the Maugiron family. Today the chateau is seat of the Guigal empire and houses the in-house cooperage where they produce barrels for the extraordinary elevage of up to 4 years for the single vineyard Cote Rotie cuvees.