A blend of Pinot Noir, Gamay and Fendant, co-macerated and then vinified together. Nuances of herb grass, moss, dark berries and caramel.
CLASSIFICATION: Valais AOC
VINEYARDS: Estate vineyards located 740-890 meters above sea level. Soils composed of granite, gneiss, limestone
FARMING PRACTICES: Biodynamic
VINIFICATION: 3 varieties co-macerated then vinified in stainless steel vats using native yeasts.
ELEVAGE: Aging in stainless steel tank
BOTTLED: Bottled unfiltered
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The vines at Domaine Beudon are perched on a small swell half way up a sheer mountainside in the Valais region of Switzerland. The only way to access the domaine is a 3 hour walk up an absurdly precarious footpath with fixed ropes or a small, rustic cable car. The vineyard sites are very steep, up to 50 degrees in spots and they top out at 900 meters above sea level. This is extreme grape growing at its apex.
Jacques (Jacky) Granges often repeats that people think he is crazy. He was crazy to move up here as a single young man in the early 70’s. Crazy to convert the estate to Biodynamics long before it was hip – he was the first in Switzerland. Crazy to grow the grapes he grows and to make the wines he makes. But after tasting the wines of Domaine Beudon, it is clear that Jacky Granges is simply one more great man whose genius has been dubbed crazy by those who do not understand him.
There is no wood used on any of the wines. Vinification and aging take place in stainless steel and via indigenous yeasts. The whites are pressed up on the mountain and the juice is brought down to the valley floor for fermentation. The reds are put in tanks and the entire tanks are brought down on cables for fermentation.
The young wines here are powerful, exuberant and completely unique. The aged wines are long, expressive, wise and characterful. There is something special in these wines and in this place. The afternoon we spent up on the mountain with Jacky and Marion exists in my mind like an afternoon through the wardrobe – outside of time and place. We left with the next visit already in our minds.
Which makes the end note here all the more sorrowful. A few weeks after our visit, we received news that Jacky had passed away. He seemed immortal up there in his vineyards in the sky. His wife and daughters plan to carry on and we will do our best to keep his spirit alive by sharing these amazing wines.
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