If the Ardèche, and in particular the Southern Ardèche, has become a fertile ground for young winemakers attracted by natural winemaking, it owes much of its success to the pioneers of organic growing and low intervention winemaking, both local winemakers (Gérald Oustric, Le Mazel) and newcomers to the Ardèche, such as Gilles Azzoni, now succeeded by his son Antonin.
Since 1983, Gilles Azzoni has been based at his Mas de la Bégude in Les Salelles, a hamlet in Saint-Maurice-d'Ibie, in the southern Ardèche region. His work has evolved towards organic practices and then, from 2000 onwards, towards a frankly natural philosophy: his ambition, in his own words, is to be a 'companion' to the wines as they are crafted, rather than a 'transformer'. In 2014, he left the vineyards of Mas de la Bégude to set up Le Raisin & l'Ange with his son Antonin, a négociant business based on the purchase of local organic grapes, which are used to make a range of cuvées that are ever-more respectful of nature, with no treatments or chemicals. Gilles also produces a red and a white wine under the 'Bateleur' label from his own 1 hectare of vines.