Rhône Valley, France
The Chapoutier family motto ‘Fac et Spera’ – do and hope – sums up their patient and daring approach to winemaking. They must be patient with nature, that uncontrollable force, and the winemaker must be daring in his decisions.
Michel Chapoutier’s distant ancestor Polydor Chapoutier ﬁrst bought vines in the Rhône Valley in 1808, and today history and tradition abound at this vast estate that stretches from Côte Rôtie in the north, to Luberon in the south. The M. Chapoutier vineyards in the very best sites of the Rhône represent the quintessence of the range.
From Hermitage to Saint-Joseph, Condrieu to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, each parcel of land delivers the ﬁnest fruit expression of the appellation, and is treated with rigorous biodynamic principles to ensure that good grapes become memorable wine.
So strong is Michel’s commitment to treat the terroir with respect that Chapoutier now owns the largest biodynamic vineyard in Europe. It is his personal conviction that “the complexity in a wine comes from the level of microbiological activity around the vine roots”.
Soils on the Chapoutier estate never see pesticides or herbicides, ﬂoral growth amongst the vines is essential, and the natural cycles of earth, sun and moon are also considered, as vines respond to these. A consistent approach is crucial. This is particularly noted in the top wines produced in limited quantity each year from outstanding individual vineyard sites; Sélections Parcellaires.