Marie-Therese Chappaz - Vienna
Vienna is the only major capital city in the world with significant wine production nearby. The vines still extend, however, into parts of the city itself, as they have done for hundreds of years.
Viticulture in Vienna is as old as Vienna itself - the Celtic settlement of Vedunia, and later the Roman garrison of Vindobona both cultivated grapes. The earliest named vineyards were documented in 1132, and by the late middle ages, all city districts had their own vineyards.
Viennese Heurigen culture, which so dominates Viennese wine to this day, was made possible by Emperor Josef II, who in 1784 passed a law allowing wine growers to sell their wine alongside home-made food. Viennese will often on a nice day take the tram out to go for lunch in a Heuriger, ideally one attached to a winery in a vineyard district. If you are visiting Vienna for business or tourism, take the time to do the same.
Our main winemaker in Vienna is the fantastic Rainer Christ, always one of the best !
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!