Our Work and Philosophy

A quick résumé for those in a hurry

Wine is a combination of nature, humanism and the unexpected.

Each vintage brings its share of doubts, leads us to change, correct, redefine.
The year is our unit of time. Winegrower is a profession of patience …

Icon-feuilleIn the vines,

We seek to create wines of character that evoke the taste of the terroir, of the earth that nourishes our grapes;  to cultivate our vines in consequence, without herbicides or chemical fertilizers so that their roots may plunge into soil that is natural, free from chemicals to preserve the indigenous yeasts, free from insecticides to preserve biodiversity, and with limited yields to obtain concentrated juice.

Icon-feuilleIn the cellar,

We give priority to authenticity and time: grape sorting, wild yeasts, long maturing on lees, in vats or barrel.
Then come years of acquired skills, a multitude of little secrets accumulated, working with the cycles of the moon, using reason and intuition.

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A little story of great importance …

Icon-feuille Our thoughts …

Wines of the EARTH, of the CLIMATE …

The essential identity of a wine is that which goes back to its most fundamental origin: its ROOTS.   If you consider that these roots find their nourishment in the organic and mineral nature of the earth, then the term ‘wines of the EARTH’ takes on a whole new significance and could be enough in itself.

Roots, however, need the part of the plant that is above ground.  So we would prefer to talk of wines of the EARTH and the CLIMATE, in order to add the elements of exposition, heat, light, ventilation….. Note that in Burgundy this notion of earth and climate have long been intimately linked,to the point where the term ‘climate’ is used to designate a parcel of vines.

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And why not wines of TERROIR!

Yes, but which TERROIR?
TERROIR can be EARTH and CLIMATE, why not?
But by definition, terroir also integrates MAN  - in the sense of farming the vines and making wine according to tradition, in a reasoned fashion, attentive to nature – and even COSMIC influences.

But what has taken place in recent years?

Winegrowers have forgotten all about reason.  Progress means producing more and faster.  MAN has become a predator.  Productivity has led to methods that no longer allow the expression of NATURE.

The hoe and the rake used by our grandfathers have gone for scrap, chemistry gets rid of weeds with less effort, and kills the life in the soil. But what does that matter?  A good dose of fertilizer, even on soil that has no more life in it than a heap of sand, can still produce grapes.  A lot of grapes.  And because the latest theory always finds favour, a lot of grapes equals lots of money.

However, every winegrower also knows that abundant growth means rot on the grapes, dilution of the juice, poor maturities, lack of aromas, negligible taste. But that doesn’t matter!  Chemical anti-rot treatments will do the job, and a good dose of  “Sauvignon flavour” industrial yeast will bring the wine back from the dead… Never mind about the chemical residues, or the pre-defined, monotype, standardised aromas.

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What difference is there in the glass between a Roussane from Australia, Hérault or the Savoie ?

NONE!

And so our great equation TERROIR = EARTH + CLIMATE + MAN breaks down, destroyed by man’s contempt.

 

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Icon-feuilleWhat we are trying to do …

There are a lot of little secrets and experience in a good wine.  But what is  most important is a return to awareness and greater reason.  Vines have been growing in Savoie for thousands of years.

We want to have the same approach to the vine as our ancestors did, through reason or default, it doesn’t matter. To consider it as a plant living in harmony within an adapted biotope, practically capable of self-sufficiency, by drawing its energy and its nutrients from its natural environment.

We no longer wish to use the soil as an inert support for fertilisers, where the plant is doped, covered in disinfectants and sterilising products with the unique objective of producing quantity.

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Over 10 years ago we ceased to consider yield per hectare as a principal criterion.  We started by a reasoned approach to fertiliser and completely rethought our pruning practices.

For the last 5 years we have used no chemical herbicides, nor insecticide or anti rot products.  We continue to reduce our use of fertiliser.  The soil is maintained by hoeing and mowing.  Grass is no longer eliminated but controlled, and participates in the healthy life of the soil.  Naturally accessible nutrients, mineral and organic, are newly available for the plants.

The wines have become more concentrated, more complex.  Traces of minerality characterised by smoky, saline or slightly bitter notes are evident, varying according to the parcel.

And so we have returned to a wine of the EARTH, of the CLIMATE, and perhaps a true wine of the TERROIR.