About the wine maker
The family motto, ‘Fac et Spera’ has for over two centuries defined the Chapoutier family’s attitude towards their vineyards. Patience and respect for the land, terroir and the art of winemaking, has elevated their status to one of the Rhône’s top wine producers.
Michel Chapoutier took over the running of the company in 1988. Since then, the quality of the wines has increased considerably: key to this is Michel’s attitude towards matching food and wine, he defines this as central to his approach. He believes that anyone who creates wine must be generous and festive.
Whilst in the past Chapoutier wines may have been criticised for spending too long in old wood, Michel has now changed this; the old chestnut foudres have been replaced with small oak casks, about a third new, and wines spend a maximum of 18 months in them. All his wines are unfiltered and are not fined: to do so he believes would diminish their character.
The grape growing part of wine production is seen as a key stage in the process; he views ‘terroir as three elements, climate, soil and humans (talent and tradition). To address the latter he has set up a team specifically dedicated with ‘accompanying the wine harvest’, they provide support and guidance on farming methods.
Since 1996 all wine labels have included a Braille version, not only to help wine drinkers with restricted vision, but also as an homage to Maurice Monier de la Sizeranne, original owner of the famous La Sizeranne vineyards and the inventor of the form of Braille widely used today.
All their own vineyards and those single vineyards they select are cultivated either organically or biodynamically. Michel started this process about twenty years ago. He believes that farming this way is the best way to let ‘the soil speak’ and express both its terroir and the vintage.