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Maison M. Chapoutier

A Family Feud and the Ambassador of the Rhone at Maison M. Chapoutier Winery

Maison M. Chapoutier is an estate with a very gripping story of family disputes and an estate owner that has established himself as one of the most visible figures in the world of wines and is the ambassador for the Rhone.

Wine grape varieties

Located in the Tain l’ Hermitage in France, northern Rhone region is the vineyards that once belonged to Polydor Chapoutier who originally bought the vines to grow grapes and then went into selling his own wines in the early 1800’s.

The estate was passed down to other family members until it was passed down to Marc Chapoutier who handed it over to his son Max in 1977 but still remained working there.

Remember to read the Wine Tasting guide…

The history

Max had two sons and one of them, Michel went travelling around to other wine regions to explore their methods and on his return resumed his position in the vinification process whilst his brother and father were in control of the maturation of the wines.

According to Michel they did a terrible job and the results were not good for the family business.

Michel went to his grandfather and told him that he wanted to leave and that he could not work with his family any longer.

Marc was not happy about the decision and wanted Michel to stay giving him the opportunity to inherit the estate and skip a generation, but Michel did not want the efforts of his work to go to undeserving family members and insisted that he buy the business and have complete control.

His grandfather agreed to the sale and Michel transformed the business into a thriving success.

Michel a passionate man wanted to express the character of the soils and truly believes that the life of the soil is vital for the expression of the terroir and with his controversial and outrageous ways has made a significant stamp on the market.

As he loves wine and has a passion for winemaking, Michel decided to change the taste of the signature wines so as to create distinctions and features of each terroir.

He disposed of the old chestnut foudres and ages the wines in new oak casks for 18 months with the wines being bottled unrefined and unfiltered.

Wines from Maison M. Chapoutier

More Wines from Maison M. Chapoutier at page 2

The Vineyards and Farming

At Maison M. Chapoutier respect for the land is imperative and they believe that the complexity of the wines comes from the bacterial life in the soil and the roots.

Harvesting is done by hand and horses, ploughs and pick axes are used to ensure the land is taken care of correctly.

Biodynamic principles are used at all the vineyards and de-stemming is done prior to fermentation.

The vines are also planted very closely together, forcing the roots to dig deeper and pruning is important as it provides a limited output.

They have five terroirs that are worked in Portugal, Australia and France in the Rhone Valley, Roussillon and Alsace.

Vinification Process

The vinification is done traditionally to encourage seeding of the must with native yeast preserving each terroir characteristics.

White grapes are completely pressed and red grapes are always de- stemmed depending on the vintage and the appellation.

Syrah juices are fermented in open wooden vats and are pumped twice per day where the wine is then placed into barrels for malolactic fermentation.

The oak barrels are from the north of the Massif Central and Nevers with all the wines being bottled on the estate.

Michel does not want his wines to have a specific and distinctive signature, therefore does not cultivate a particular taste, but tries to work with differences in flavour specific to each terroir, creating individuality.

Wine Grape Varieties
Wine Informations
Wine Merchants

The Wine Collection of Maison M. Chapoutier

Chapoutier has single vineyard wines and classic wines that display individual characteristics of their origin.

The single vineyard wines are Cote Rotie, Condrieu, Corzes Ermitage, Ermitage, and Saint Joseph, Australia, Cotes – du – Roussillon Villages and Chateauneuf du Pape.

The classic wine selection consists of 76 labels from the various terroirs.

His production of Tete de cuvees is an important one to him which includes La mordoree made from 60 year old vines from the Cote Blonde and Hermitage Pavilion from 70 year old vines in the Les Bessards.

The Chapoutier Selections Parcellaires are single vineyard hermitage wines that are recognised with the ancient name “Ermitage” coming from the terroir of Hermitage Hill and consist of 26 hectares as well as a further purchase of 5 hectares from other growers.  These wines are full bodied and deep wines with distinct aromas of spice and blackberry with hints of minerals.

Vin de Paille is a dessert wine produced from grapes that have been dried on straw mats and a very limited amount is produced and sold in half bottles.

2013 M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf du Pape Croix de Bois is a soft and spicy wine with aromas of red fruits

Mathilde Chapoutier Selection Bordeaux consists of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and the soils consist of clay, limestone and deep clay with aromas of blackcurrants, blackberries and ripe fruit with hints of vanilla.

Visit Maison M. Chapoutier Winery

There are so many rich and flavour filled wines to choose from and if you want to visit the Maison M. Chapoutier then you are in for a treat as there is a tour that takes you through the vineyards in the Rhone Valley including information on the winemaking process and food paired with the wines.

You can enjoy and relax as there is accommodation at the hotel for you to stay and perhaps even taste some more wines.

Contact Information

Maison M. Chapoutier
Website: http://www.chapoutier.com/index-gb.htm
Phone: +33 4 75 08 28 6

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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