I had the chance of spending a few days in the vineyards of beautiful Lavaux, Switzerland in the first week of november. To be honest, I didn’t know that they were so beautiful! I love the autumn colors, and those colors look especially beautiful in Lavaux, where you can have the mountains, the see, and the vines in your view at the same time. “Absolutely stunning!” with the words of my favourite youtuber and photographer Thomas Heaton 🙂
We stayed in a hotel within the vineyards, and we had the best view ever when we woke up! I totally understand why this are is a world heritage site.
On our first morning in Lavaux, we had an appointment with Mr. Christophe Chappuis from Domaine Chappuis at 10:30. We noticed that his place was only 1km away from our hotel, and we decided to walk. However, there was something that we didn’t take into consideration. The view! It was so beautiful, we stopped on every 5 steps to enjoy the amazing view, to make some pictures, or to show each other how beautiful it was. It took us more than half an hour to get there! Unbelievable, isn’t it? I was ashamed of having made people wait, but Mr. Chappuis admitted that he actually forgot our appointment when we finally arrived. I was releaved to hear that.
When Mr. Chappuis told me that his family has been making wine since 1335 in this area and that he was the 21st generation making wine, I immediately thought about my grandparents and their grandparents. Sadly, I don’t know anything about them. Even if I new, I’m pretty sure that they were not doing what I’m doing for a living. Honestly, how many jobs have that kind of history? If you are in IT are for instance, or marketing? But apparently, this is possible if you are a winemaker.
Mr. Chappuis showed us how to do pruning in the vineyards with Guyot system. I read several times how to do it on books or on internet, but I never thought that it could be such a hard work! I couldn’t even cut some of the canes with one hand! Mr. Chappuis told us that he does it together with his father every year and it tooks approximately three months to complete all of the vines. When I told him that he probably has the workplace with the best view on earth, he smiled and said that he works mostly inside, meaning the cellar. Well, this is a sad fact, but still, the whole village is also very beatiful.
Since my visit to Domaine Chappuis, I have been thinking about how some of us value their historical heritage and some of us not. To be honest, I am not a person, who likes to do research on her past or who likes to keep things only for the purpose of keeping the memories alive. On the opposite, I throw away old things, especially the things, on which people tend to attribute a notion, such as theater tickets, or flowers used for the decoration of a wedding, etc. It usually doesn’t make me happy to think about the past. It is on the opposite. No matter how happy I was during an occasion in the past, I feel sorry when I think about it years later, knowing that what happened in the past remains in the past and can never be experienced again. However, doing a research about the past of my anchestors can be different, because it will be all new to me. I’ll consider that seriously.
About the wines
We tasted three of his white wines, and two red wines. The two whites from Chasselas grape (Gutedel) both have a moderately rich nose and moderate acitity. I was actually expecting much more acidity from wines of this region, but this was not the case with these wines. The fermentation of these wine takes place in big oak tanks. Mr. Chappuis showed us the first label of the Grand Cru Dézaley, which is the same as the label today. As you see, history is valued around here.
Both of the first two whites are made without skin contact, unlike the third white wine, which was made of Viognier. Mr. Chappuis explained that malolactic fermentation was avoided for this wine, which actually explains the higher acidity level. This one was my favourite among the three first, not only because I found the level of acidity more refreshing, but also I found this wine more balanced compared to the others, although the aromas of this wine were not as intense as in the first two wines.
The two red wines, Grand Cru Dézaley Ambroisie and Lavaux AOC Gamaret were both round, modest wines, not showy, not complex, without oak, simply nice wines to drink with our without food.