The town of Challex, the sunniest in the whole Pays de Gex, is halfway between the Jura and Geneva (12km), east of the department of Ain. Its vineyard, about fifty hectares, is the westernmost of the immense crescent that spreads on the Swiss coast of Lake Geneva, before continuing in the canton of Valais. The farm, a little away from the pretty wine village, dominates the Rhône and the canton of Geneva, facing the Alps.
With an area of 8 ha, the vines are divided as follows:
Mainly Chasselas, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Pinot Gris but also Highness, Muscat, Gamaret de la Mondeuse and Persian.
100% certified organic farming since 2000.
0.8 ha of Pinot Gris
1 ha of Gamaret
0.7 ha of Roussette
The vineyards are on south-east slopes. The density of planting is 10000 feet/ ha in the old plots (Gamay especially) and 5600 feet/ ha with grass between the rows for the others. The plants of old plots are from massal selection. In order to limit yields, Royat cord pruning has replaced the traditional Guyot pruning on all Gamays and on certain plots of Pinot Noir and Chasselas. The vines are trellised and worked according to the traditions of the region with a stripping in June which allows a better sunshine of the grapes. Harvest in systematic green on the reds. The number of treatments is very reduced with a priority to sulphur and copper and insecticides are banned. The harvest is done by hand in order to make a sorting.
Vinification takes place entirely in our cellar. The white wines are settled for 48 hours before the alcoholic fermentation which, as for the rosés is followed by temperature control. Chasselas is sometimes chaptalized unlike rosés and reds which are rarely. Malolactic fermentation is done systematically on all wines except Pinot Gris. The aging is done on lees all winter and the whites and rosés are filtered only just before bottling. The reds, on the other hand, are usually glued and sometimes filtered. Years go by but they don’t look … fortunately! The farm also produces organic cereals.