Charles Helfenbien


After completing degrees in oenology and viticulture, Charles Helfenbein took over the vines and cellar work that his uncle had started in in the year 2000. Charles' first solo vintage was 2007 and he was soon thereafter recognized by Rhône authority John Livingstone-Learmonth as an ‘impressive newcomer.’ Charles has quickly attained local popularity to the point where his wines sell out shortly after they are released to market.

The wines of Brézème rivalled those of Hermitage for quality and desirability in the mid-19th Century. The ravages of Phylloxera, mildew and then two world wars resulted in vineyards being abandoned, so that by 1961 only one hectare of vines remained. The parallels with Hermitage are fascinating: the Brézème vineyards are also planted on steep south-facing slopes of hills that rise above 200 metres. This means outstanding drainage and exposure to the sun, as well as protection from north winds. These are the southernmost vineyards of the north Rhône, overlooking the Drôme river near the town of Livron. Vine plantings have gradually increased since the 1960s, and the wines are superb – but today they cost just a fraction of the price of Hermitage.

2 Item(s)

  1. Brézème Cotes du Rhône, Charles Helfenbein

    Medium-bodied, soft, and silky with notes of smoked meat, violet, olive, and pipe tobacco. A deft balance of acid and tannin on the finish. 

    Learn More

  2. Syrah IGP Collines Rhidaniennes, Charles Helfenbein

    A lovely deep colour of purple and garnet red. Ripe dark fruits and warming spices on the nose with a fleshy mouthfeel and surprisingly long, savoury bitter-chocolatey finish.  

    Learn More