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Cornas legend Alain Voge dies

Alain Voge, an emblematic producer in the Northern Rhône appellation of Cornas, has died aged 81.

Alain Voge (right) with Lionel Fraisse who has managed the domain since 2018

Alain died on the morning of Wednesday 2 September. He took over the running of the family estate fully in 1965 and quickly began to bottle his own wines following a disagreement with a local wine merchant.

In the 1970s was one of a tiny handful of producers who helped safeguard the vineyards of Cornas, the steep slopes of which made it unappealing to many other farmers in the aftermath of the Second World War and which was losing ground to encroaching urban sprawl.

The 1980s saw him take part in lots of redevelopment in Cornas and also in the nearby Saint Péray appellation which he likewise helped bring back from the brink of obscurity.

In the 1990s his wines began to gain a stronger following abroad, especially in the United States at first but more globally later.

In the process he helped bring a new appreciation and a new audience to the wines and vines of this part of the northern Rhône, alongside the likes of the equally revered Auguste Clape who died in 2018.

In the early 2000s the estate was converted to organics and later to biodynamics. At this time Alain stepped back a little from some of the more hands-on running of the estate and appointed a managing director in 2006, Albéric Mazoyer and then Lionel Fraisse in 2018.

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