Cornas is a small town and its wine business had been struggling since the phylloxera crisis in the late 1800s. Rich wine regions, such as Bordeaux, were able to replant and restart almost immediately, but Cornas had neither the money nor the manpower to recover. The vineyard areas were simply abandoned and workers relocated to cities for more stable work in factories. One of the few winemakers who continued to labour in the vineyards of Cornas was Noel Verset, a truly legendary character who was born and made his home in this region.
Noel Verset started his 75 year long career in 1931 at the age of 12. By 24 he created the first vintage of his label using grapes from a rented vineyard. Following this, he inherited the family domaine and expanded the boundries never producing more than one label, as was the tradition. Old-school was his style; fruit was harvested when ripe, no destemming, crushed underfoot and vinified for 15 to 18 days in concrete vats. Aging then took place in demi-muids.
In 2000, Noel Verset prepared for retirement, dividing and selling parcels of his domaine to old friends and colleagues. He passed away on September 14th 2015 at 95 years old, with 2006 being the last vintage to bear his name.