Originally from the small hamlet of "Les Baillets" in the heart of the Geneva wine-growing district, the Desbaillets family is mentioned in local archives going back over 500 years. Domaine des Abeilles d'Or has developed a fine reputation. When we started to work with them it was run by René Desbaillets and now his son has taken over. How time flies!
The estate has some 34 hectares of vines in the village of Chouilly which is in the Satigny district which today is the largest wine-growing district in Switzerland. Vines grow here at an altitude of between 450 and 500 metres on clay loam soils over porous sandstone bedrock. René, ably assisted by his winemaker son Laurent (recent graduate of the winemaking school at Changins) makes a wide range of red, rosé, white and sparkling wines. Of particular note is the estate's Douce Noire, an oaked red blend of international and Swiss varieties which regularly sweeps the board in competitions.
A heraldic note - on the family crest the blue represents the sky, justice and beauty while the golden bees symbolise wealth and nobility. The striped band represents virtue, ardour, love and courage. Nothing could better describe the wonderful landscape of hills around Chouilly and the great wines and character of the producer!
Thank you for following up. I have been very happy with the wines so far. There were some I did not like, but this was a matter of taste, rather than wine quality. I never knew much about Austrian wines before and I ordered some just to try them, but have been really impressed and have some new favourites like Zweigelt and Weissburgunder. I had Pinot Bianco before, but have never found it notable, while the Weissburgunder was amazing. I liked the Austrian Riesling, even though it was cheaper than relevant German wine and the Julienas Gamay was so nice. Overall I have been very happy quality and value and will order again.
As a half-Swiss I know what distinctive, quality wines Switzerland can produce. Until now, the problem has been locating them in the UK, since the demise of the Swiss Centre in Leicester Square many years ago. Keep them coming!
PS: I would like to see, and taste a pinot noir or two from the Germanic region - very distinctive from Burgundy, but more importantly from the lighter, thinner Germanic pinot.
Just a short note to thank you for all your help you gave me when buying the bottle of Swiss wine I purchased last Friday. It arrived on the next Monday afternoon as you said and was gratefully accepted by our Swiss friends