The tiny Domaine Clusel was established in 1969 by Rene Clusel. In 1989 his son Gilbert changed the name to Clusel-Roch, roch being his wife's family name.
Today the propery is still tiny (even by Burgundy standards!) with just 3.5 hectares of Cote-Rotie and 0.5 hectares in Condrieu. The domaine also has vines in the Coteaux de Lyonnais.
The vines are planted on terraces along the steep slopes Côte Rôtie, with two wooden stakes tied above each vine to help protect against the region's occasionally howling winds. Having officially converted to organic farming practices in 2002, most work in the vineyards is done manually, without the use of any chemical fertilizers.
In order to even better express the tradition of the vineyard, the domaine only uses vines from their own selection of Syrah plantings, which are grafted in their own small nursery. According to Gilbert, these traditional Ampuis vines are less productive and give more complex aromas than available modern selections. When harvest time comes, the grapes are manually selected, and fermented with indigenous yeasts, furthering the site purity in each wine.
With annual production of about 1250 cases per year, Domaine Clusel-Roch is able to focus all their attention on each aspect of the winemaking, from vine to bottle, and it shows!
The wines are extremely well reviewed. The problem is finding them!