Marie-Therese Chappaz - Biodynamic Wines
Biodynamic wines are organic wines made following the lunar calendar and the naturalistic beliefs of Rudolf Steiner.
It is a holistic concept - looking at the whole ecosystem through cycles and energy. The goal is to enhance the natural life-flow cycles of the vine and especially its immune system. Memorable processes in biodynamic vinetending include using cow horns to hold the silica which will be buried in the soil and applying specific herbal sprays on precise days.
There is a dose of non scientific magical thinking in biodynamic processes. But as one of my winemakers put it "it doesn't make sense and I feel silly doing some of it, but my vines look healthier"
Marie-Thérèse Chappaz is not only the most famous woman winegrower in Switzerland she is also a very endearing, simple and genuine woman. Now a star in her own country and the must have swiss winemaker in France but practically unknown elsewhere.
Marie-Thérèse grows 14 hectares of vineyard at an altitude of between 400 and 800 metres, which are divided and spread over several villages - Fully and also Martigny, Charrat, Leytron, Saillon and Chamoson.
The majority of vineyards are cultivated in terraces supported by hand-built dry stone walls according to the centuries old tradition in the Valais. You can wander freely through the spectacular landscapes by taking the beaten pathways that join the different villages.
Since 1999 Marie-Thérèse Chappaz has opted for biodynamic agriculture. To say she was misunderstood at first is putting it mildly. But in between the wines have spoken, as have the wineyards, and those who looked down on the "little woman, what could she know" have learned otherwise.
“For me producing wines is not about making the best drink possible, by any means possible. Wine is something magical when it tells the story of a land, a terrain, a climate, a grape variety, in other words when it has an identity!”
I've been buying them for myself for years but not able to snatch enough quantity for Alpine Wines. But now, we have!
Fendant President Troillet Marie-Therese ChappazThe most famous Fendant of Marie Therese's range - possibly the first of her wines I knew
Grain Ermitage Marie-Therese ChappazMy special favourite in Marie-Therese Chappaz's range. Stunning year on year
Grain Nature Marie-Therese ChappazThis is supremely elegant natural wine
Dole La Liaudisaz Marie-Therese ChappazA gorgeous concentrated Dole, without being too serious
Grain Noble Arvine Marie-Therese ChappazLegendary sweet wine
Grain Noir Marie-Therese ChappazCabernet and Merlot in Alpine purity