France: You're exploring the French Alps, Savoie, Beaujolais and the Jura wines
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.
France is the great wine nation - but you won't find Bordeaux or classic Côtes du Rhône here! We head for the foothills of the Alps for far rarer, more interesting bottles.
Beaujolais is the "first hint of the Alps" and the home of fantastic Gamay.
Savoie is in the mountainous areas just south of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and the border with Switzerland all the way to Lyon and the Rhone valley.
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.