Spotlight on one of the world’s greatest wineries- Domaine Chappaz
Situated just above the town of Fully, the area has a history of wine production that dates back almost unfathomably to the second century BC. Fast forwarding many centuries, vines now carpet the lower slopes of the mountains in the area, reaching up to 1000m altitude- never has it been more accurate to describe a wine as 'alpine', as it is in this instance.
As is typical for high altitude sites, there is blistering sunshine in summer and a distinct bitterness to the chill of winter. However, the number of days of sunshine is high- over 300 days per year on average- reflected in a ripeness and a fruit-forwardness to the wines. The regions protective mountain barriers shield vineyards from excessive rainfall, ensuring a relatively dry environment perfect for viticulture. The terrain provides a varied, patchwork terroir- including pockets of loess, granite, clay, limestone and alluvial soils, while the steep slopes provide excellent drainage. This diverse mineral composition lends a distinctive minerality and complexity to the wines
Marie Therese Chappaz took over her family estate when it was just 1.5 hectares back in the mid-80s. She has worked using biodynamic farming methods for several decades now and has built a reputation for elegant, yet full-bodied, and utterly ageworthy wines. Her passion and commitment to outstanding quality have earned international recognition, such as the estate being listed in the Gault Millau guide as one of the top 100 wineries in the world in 2016 and one of her wines this year, receiving no fewer than 100 points from the venerable Robert Parker.
Today the vineyards have grown in size and she now farms around 11 hectares of vines on the steep slopes above Fully and in the nearby villages of Charrat, Leytron and Chamoson. Five of the vineyards cannot be reached by transportation of any kind (with the exception of a small cable car!), so reaching them is mostly done by foot and all work on them takes place by hand.
Well-known grapes such as Pinot Noir and Gamay do brilliantly here, but also thriving are lesser known grapes such as Cornalin and Petite Arvine. Domaine Chappaz showcases such grapes in elegant, dry styles of marvellous complexity, but is also renowned for exquisitely harmonious dessert wines.
The wines of Domaine Chappaz truly do reveal their history, commitment to sustainability and unique terroir, within each sip. See the full range, here, or stay tuned for further details on our upcoming pop-up event, to enjoy a range of the latest releases, alongside a brilliant menu by Tom McManus. To ensure you don't miss the release of these very limited tickets, do sign up to our newsletter, here.