Back

Domaine des Muses - Chateau Thivin

Domaine des Muses - Chateau Thivin

Robert Taramarcaz, Granges, Valais

This estate is today widely regarded as one of the best and most consistently reliable estates in the Beaujolais. Claude Geoffray makes a superb range of Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly wines together with a Beaujolais Blanc, a Beaujolais Villages and a Rosé. The Côte de Brouilly wines are harvested by terroir with specific parcels of vines yielding quite different results.

"I love all my wines with equal passion which I think is one of the reasons I have won awards with every single one of them. Having said that, I would really like to help make our traditional Fendant and Dôle (Gamay Pinot Assemblage) more fashionable again here at home. They are unique but taken for granted."

Robert Taramarcaz took over the small family wine estate in 2002 and has been winning awards in Switzerland ever since. Trained in Burgundy with a Master’s degree in oenology from the University Institute of Vines and Wine in Dijon. With research and a thesis on sweet wines he combines knowledge, craftsmanship and passion and it certainly shows in the bottles!

All the wines are excellent, from the Fendant to the superlative sweet wine, Polymnie. We started by chosing a small selection of personal favourites, a delicious Dôle, a crisp complex Heida, a dry Marsanne (one my soft spots and Robert's is excellent), and the two native blends "Seduction" wines, but now have most of his wines available. People who tried Euterpe at the launch of Wine Grapes haven't been able to forget it and now it is available with its red counterpart Terpsichore. Absolute masterpieces.

Around Sierre and Grange they have the driest climate in Switzerland with the Rhône creating some cool fog in the morning and often the warm wind Foehn (or the cold Bise) drying everything. They have warm dry summers and perfect mellow autumns. It might be in the heart of the Alps but they don't have problems with maturation, almost anything can mature here. People don't believe that it can be an oenologue's dream but it really is.

Robert grows both international and native grape varieties – "I'm very happy to have been selected as one of the first four Swiss winemakers for the Best of 2012, and I am very proud that 11 wines that we make from 11 different varieties made that selection. It shows how special Valais is as a winemaking region. Almost every variety can reach full maturity here."

"For an oenologue, I think the joy is to be able to craft a beautiful Pinot Noir. To be rewarded internationally for a Pinot from Valais, now that is brilliant. I have a soft spot for Pinot - a tricky wine, where people focus not on strength but elegance and finesse."

Grid List

Set Descending Direction

15 Item(s)

Grid List

Set Descending Direction

15 Item(s)

The estate is bathed in history. Early manuscripts from the 12th century refer to a "40-man" estate and to the "Clos de Brouilly" being owned by Humbert 3rd, the Lord of Beaujeu. The main château building dates from the 14th century and the date 1383 can still be seen above the door of a small cellar.

The name "Thivin" derives from M. Thivind, a Parliamentary lawyer who owned the estate in the wake of the French revolution. Claude Geoffray's ancestor Zaccharie, a farmer near Villefranche sur Saône, bought the estate in 1877 when Château Thivin had a little less than 2 hectares of vines. From 1894 his son Claude greatly enlarged the estate by buying vines and houses.

Claude's son, also named Claude (it runs in the family!), father of today's owner, took over the estate on his return from the Great War. He countered the slump of the 1930's with the creation of the Côte de Brouilly appellation. He and his wife Yvonne worked tirelessly to build up the quality and reputation of Côte de Brouilly and of Beaujolais as a whole, founding the 'Maison des Beaujolais' in 1953.

Thivin has an atmosphere all of its own, both as a family home with its roofs of glazed fishscale tiles, nestled on the lower slopes of the Mont Brouilly and surrounded by vines. A producer of some of the best wines in this part of the Beaujolais where tradition and impeccable winemaking skills go hand in hand.

A beautiful blue stone vaulted cellar houses the oak casks (foudres) in which the wine matures while an older cellar beneath the château provides the perfect conditions for laying down the wine once bottled. Manoir du Pavé, on the eastern side of the Mont Brouilly in the village of St. Lager, is a recent addition to the estate through marriage.

Contact Us