Philippe Guigal was born in France not far from Ampuis, in Vienne, on January 23, 1975. At the early age of 6, he was inspired by his grandfather and father who worked together. Throughout his childhood he often joined them in the cellars and frequently traveled to visit the vineyards in the Rhone Valley. In 1992, he started his studies in organic chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Lyon and five years later he obtained his oenologist degree from the University of Burgundy.
Philippe became the winemaker at the family company in 1997, at the age of 22, a formidable challenge to say the least. In 1992, he graduated with a Master of Science in Wine and Business Management from the O.I.V. (International Organization of Wine and Wine0), during which he traveled 2 years visiting 17 wine producing countries.
Apart from his company, Philippe Guigal has held a position as French foreign trade advisor since 2009. Married to Eve in 2008, the couple raises their twin boys: Charles and Etienne born in 2010.
Philippe represents the third generation of Guigal vignerons in Côte-Rôtie. He and his father pursue their common goal, to maintain a family company while producing the finest Rhone Valley wines and serving their customers with satisfaction.
While Philippe’s work is all encompassing, he does have a few outside interests of note. First is a fascination with antique furniture that grew out of refurbishing Chateau d’Ampuis. The Chateau’s restoration was not only done with historical preservation and accuracy in mind, but the chairs, tables and tapestries are all period pieces that the Guigals have acquired.
Secondly, Philippe Guigal’s stage presence and grace were developed at a young age when his mother wanted to learn to dance to rock and roll and forced him to attend dancing lessons, as his father did not like to dance. After a year the dancing teacher suggested he enter competitions. When he was young, Philippe several times was among the top French youth couples dancers, was French co-champion of Latin-American dancing at the age of 16, and won a European dancing challenge. His wife Eve’s mother runs a dancing school in Corsica, and Eve has been dancing since she was 5. Today, Even and Philippe continue to train and compete, specifically in the ballroom dancing discipline.
Profile © Françoise and Seán Gilley