The Story

 

Jacques took over the vineyards in 1971, and by 1992 he was running an entirely biodynamic process, having removed all chemicals from production, he was one of the first do so in Switzerland. The soil there is granitic, and also welcomes a wide array of herbs and livestock, the perfect environment for biodynamic practices. Despite Jacques death, his wife and two daughters are continuing his dream in producing outstanding wines.

The territory of the vineyard Domaine de Bedonia is divided into three levels of height. In this case, the best grapes vines grow on the upper level, at an altitude of 740 to 890 meters above sea level.

The wines are sold under the appellation AOC Valais and develop deep flavours, soft tannins and complex aromas. The young wines are unique and racy, while the older vintages are long and expressive, with a matchless character.

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The People

Jacques, Marion & Severine

Jacques (Jacky) Granges often said that people thought he was crazy. He was crazy to move up to Valais as a single young man in the early 70’s. And crazy to convert the estate to Biodynamics long before anyone else – he was the first in Switzerland. 

Why would someone decide painstakingly to build terraces up the ridiculously high hills of the Valais and give life to the first biodynamic Swiss vineyard on such unhospitable mountains? The answer lies in the wines themselves! After tasting the wines of Domaine Beudon, it is clear that Jacky Granges is simply one more great man whose genius has been dubbed crazy by those who do not understand him.

As you might imagine, considering these conditions, production is very small, and the wines are a rare find.

Jacky sadly passed away in 2016 from a fatal fall in his vineyard. Despite Jacky's death, his wife and two daughters are continuing his dream of producing outstanding wines.

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The Place

Valais, Switzerland

Domaine de Beudon is located in the height of Switzerland's largest wine region with plots spread over 3 different levels, between 464m and 890m, in the Valais region. Domaine de Beudon is not your average winery visit; you can access the vineyard only through steep paths or via a private cable car. The Beudon vineyard is south oriented and located on a plateau above Rhone plain - “beudon” means belly, a nod to the tubby outcrop of rock on which the vines are grown. It extends over 6 hectares between 740 and 890m. 

Even the grapes are unusual, which makes a cheerful difference from the rest of the wine world. The plantings spread across indigenous varieties such as Petite Arvine (the local name for Arvine), Fendant (Chasselas), Gamaret, or Diolinoir to name a few. The red wines are mainly made of thin-skinned grape varieties, such as Gamay, Pinot NoirDiolinoir, Gamaret and Humagne Rouge, which adds delicious hints of cherry flavours. Petite Arvine, Fendant/Chasselas and Riesling-Sylvaner/Müller-Thurgau grape varieties are used in the white wines. 

The vinification process starts on these mountainous slopes. The white grape varieties are pressed in the vineyard then the juice goes down through pipes to the valley for fermentation. The red grapes varieties, however, are straight brought down to the valley in small tanks. Swiss wines are traditionally unoaked, helping to preserve a fabulous freshness through the use of stainless steel vats. Fermentation is slow and is only done by the ambient indigenous yeasts. The wines are left unfiltered.

Domaine de Beudon