Beudon, one of the iconic names in organic and biodynamic viticulture in Switzerland. The estate is perched on the heights of Fully, in the Valais, and has been masterfully shaped by the late Jacques Granges and his wife Marion, who took over the reins in 2016 and continues this tradition which gives pride of place to varied local grape varieties...
|Cultivated grapes||Fendant, Gamay, Pinot Noir...|
|Certifications||Bio Suisse, Demeter|
|Our favorites||Cuvée Antique, Pinot Noir|
...was an estate! 6 hectares of vineyards, at an altitude of nearly 890 meters, in the small hamlet of Beudon, above Fully. The vineyard of the impossible, which can only be reached by the small private cable car of the domain, or by being resilient and taking the steep path that allows to reach the vineyards in a few hours of walking.
It is thus up there that Jacques Grange settles in 1971, joined by Marion, who marries him one year later. Trained as a biodynamic horticulturist in the Canton of Bern, it is in Beudon that she learns the trade of the vine, at the side of her husband. The impulse towards a cleaner and more responsible viticulture is thus Marion's initiative, and after the first adjustment, the domain is completely organic in 1989, then certified Bio Suisse and Demeter in 1992, ahead of their time. The vines are now pampered, treated with whey, herbal teas, plant decoctions and essential oils.
At first a grape producer, who sold the juice to the cooperative cellar, it is since the 1990's that the domain started to bottle its wines. Pinot Noir, Gamay, Fendant, Petite-Arvine, Johannisberg... the Valaisan grape varieties have pride of place, the whites growing at altitude, around the hamlet, while part of the reds are planted in the plain, around the cellar, where Pierre-Antoine Crettenand has been vinifying the grapes since 1995.
The viticulture is precise, the vinification is as well. Indigenous yeasts, no filtration and a slow evolution of the wines in bottles, the result is simply beautiful!
The Valais is famous for its multitude of small vineyards, fragmented over the course of generations, as much as it is for its steep hillsides and terraced vineyards. At the time when the grape pickers had to bring the grapes from the vineyards to the cellar on foot, with their loads on their backs, it was important to save themselves unnecessary trips...
That's when they tended to pack the bunches of Chasselas grapes a little more than necessary into their sacks. As a result, when they arrived at the cellar, the grapes had time to macerate a little on their skins before being pressed. An orange wine before its time? Almost. In any case, it is to this anecdote that the Cuvée Antique echoes today, 100% Chasselas, with a light maceration, which extracts just the right amount of substance and aroma. A wine as it was made back in the days, more in the era of time than ever!