In 1988, Frédéric took over the 1.5 hectares of vines that had been maintained by his grandfather, Marius Genton. Since then, the area has been entirely dedicated to grape production.
Drawing on the wealth of existing Savoyard varieties, the vineyards have been gradually enriched by new grape varieties.
Frédéric Giachino has been producing wine in his domain for more than 20 years, and utilising organic techniques for half of that time. Located in the Chartreuse Hills, the vines of Giachino grow along the limestone slopes of Mount Granier.
The soil here is a result of an ancient tragedy. In 1248, a huge landslide sent 500 million square metres of rock crashing down onto the surrounding villages, completely destroying five of them. The soil today, rich in limestone and clay, is made up of that rock. It is argued that only vines are capable of being cultivated in such conditions.
It sounds quite remarkable that such conditions can lead to such excellent wines. Savoie has an average altitude of 1,500 metres, with 36 peaks reaching more than 3,500 metres.
For many centuries, Frédéric et David’s family were agriculturalists in the rich Grésivaudan plain, producing cereals, nuts and fruits. They also had vineyards on the slopes of Mount Granier.
"Respect for nature and the environment has always been close to our hearts."
Frédéric’s son, Clement, took over the running of another prestigious set of vineyards, those belonging to Michel Grisard of Domaine Prieuré Saint Christophe, in 2015.Follow Domaine Giachino
The climate can be unforgiving, and the landscape offers only limited space for viticulture. However, ancient glaciers managed to create large valleys with rocky outcrops as they retreated. So, against the odds, the land is actually perfect for growing vines.
The conversion to organic farming in 2006 was the outcome of a long process. Moving away from conventional wine-producing methods meant making fundamental changes. It also opened up a new relationship with the vines, for example in handling the vagaries of the weather and the seasons. But these are the values they are committed to and which they also hope to transmit to their children.
They are made only with local grapes, including Persan and Douce Noire, which were reintroduced by Frédéric. Other varieties include Jacquère, which is grown on six of the nine hectares of land, as well as Altesse, Gamay and Mondeuse. The care and attention given to the land, the grapes and the wines themselves can be tasted in every glass.Domaine Giachino Location