The Lyric, the Arpège, the Soprano, Jam Session to quote just a few names of your wines, a musical story?
Louis : Yes indeed, my father was a guitarist and almost became a professional. However, he returned to the family tradition when he had the opportunity to take over the estate. It was also a financial security for him and the family. He kept a foot in music, inspiring the names of our wines.
Louis did an apprenticeship as a winemaker for 3 years, the first year in Marcelin, then 2 years in German-speaking Switzerland (in Stäfa with the Hohl family and in Küttigen with the Wehrli family). Afterwards he completed several internships in large wine productions and a few weeks in the south of Russia, on the Black Sea. This adventure allowed Louis to discover, literally, the world of wine. The Swiss military service and a season as a ski instructor also allowed Louis to understand his responsibility and to meet his wife. In 2008, he began his studies at Changins and in 2010, at the end of his studies, he began his work at the Domaine.
What is your vision of the Domaine in the upcoming years?
Louis: My predecessor always did an excellent job. Already a lot has changed in the last 10 years and I want to keep the quality of what he brought. I will try to improve the vinification because the wines are changing as well as the climate. For example, I would like to develop others grape varieties with late ripening, which was not possible before. In the range of reds, I would also like to experiment with wines that are generally found further south.
Charlotte made a living from her passion, education. Indeed, she had been a primary school teacher for many years after finishing her HEP. Love caught her other passion, wine, which has been part of her life for over a year now. She takes care of the administration, management and communication of the winery.
What led your wife to embark on this wine adventure?
Louis:Love! Let's just say that viticulture takes a lot of time, and having the chance to be a relationship and work together is really unique. It's also very challenging but that's what's interesting.
Charlotte:We've known each other for a long time and I was immersed in his world, the world of wine, from a very young age. I quickly realised that I liked it, I was very interested in wine making. Moreover, it is true that over the years, being able to work together was a real chance, an opportunity.
What is your specialty at the domain?
Charlotte: For the moment we are still working with Louis' parents, but the idea is that in the long run I will take over most of the administration. My father-in-law is training me a lot for it, as well as the communication and marketing side. We also try to share the reception and communication with the customers to maintain good relations!
What are your favourite things about wine?
Louis:For me it would be "L'Epesses, la Perle". It is an easy pairing: an aperitif, a fondue, a fish... It is very convivial and it is also our emblem with our armorial bearing on the label!
Charlotte : For me it would be the "Dézaley, Côtes des Abbayes" because it is very good! More precisely, it is a great terroir that I love and I find that it has a very rich side with a hint of honey and almond which I like a lot. It goes very well, for example with an aperitif and even with a diner.
What is your best memory of wine growing?
Louis:It's simple things like the sunsets over Lake Geneva, the summer wind... Of course there are also less favourable times but you always find charm in this landscape.
You have to like it to sell it.
What if you had to change of job today?
Charlotte : I just changed my job, I used to be a primary school teacher until recently. However, if I would have to change jmy job again, I think I would go back to my old job, I really enjoyed it. Louis : I don't know! It's very difficult for me, I don't want to change jobs! But if I had to, I would stay in a craft and manual field like woodworking for example.
Special events in your cellar?
Charlotte:Our wine are sold at the "Cully Jazz Festival" cellar where we work behind the bar. Music always has an important place, for example with the Domaine open doors, we always look for a jazzy background. Last year, for example, two young DJs came to set an ambiance during the Vaud open house. We are thinking of developing this concept in the coming years.
What does it inspire you to be within Lavaux?
Charlotte:We are aware of how lucky we are to have an estate in such a great location! The fact that it has also been in the family for many generations on Louis' side also brings a certain satisfaction. On top of that, it's beautiful!
A creation range?
Louis: Indeed, we have a creative range, which is based on innovation. For example, with my father, we sought to make a wine for the centenary of the Domaine (La cuvée Blondel). This led us to create a white blend without a second fermentation and unfiltered.