In 2001, Raphaël joined his brother, Etienne working in the winery which was started 2 years earlier using grapes from their uncle's vineyards. The estate was very modest at just 3.5 hectares of vines and although the wine bug had skipped a generation (their father was a builder!), it was their paternal grandfather, Albert Saint-Germain who they drew inspiration from. He had a reputation for making wines from the Savoie varietals Mondeuse and Jacquère as well as Gamay back in the 70s.
Raphaël's journey into wine was not an instant transition. He took a degree in plant biology before embarking on a career as an environmental scientist. This maybe what led him to really embrace organic viticulture before hanging up his lab coat and join his brother in the winery. They achieved full organic certification in 2012. Shortly after this Etienne who was the winemaker decided to take a backseat leaving his brother to run the winery.
Raphaël is a champion of both Alpine and the rare Savoie grape varieties. You will find examples of Altesse, Mondeuse Rouge as well as Persan growing in his vineyards.
His love of the flora and fauna of his native Savoie and his biologist background has led Raphaël to place great emphasis on maintaining an optimal level of biodiversity in the vineyard. An example of this is that he knows that as an organic wine grower he’s permitted to use copper to manage disease pressures but he chooses to keep its use to a minimum. He knows the importance of keeping his soil alive and maintaining a healthy ecosystem!
It's not just in the vineyards that the focus is on sustainable practices! In the winery, Fabrice, the current winemaker uses Carbon Dioxide capture from the fermentation process to help reduce the levels of sulphur in the winemaking (great for anyone who is sensitive to high levels of sulphites in wine).
The most remarkable thing about these wines is their modest price! So whether you choose the Altesse white with its tropical fruits and alpine herbs or either of the reds with their bright red fruits and garrigue herbs you’ll get a great tasting wine that’s also made in harmony with nature! What’s not to like about that??