Les Vignes de Paradis, Un Matin Face au Lac 6 Bottle Case
This Chasselas, from a vineyard on the shores of Lake Geneva, shows exactly why we think Dominique Lucas is one of France’s best-kept winemaking secrets. This is a remarkably opulent, meditative riff on a grape not always known for its complexity. An ideal companion to a fish barbecue and a summer’s evening.
The domain is a stone’s throw from Thonon-les-Bains, south of Lac Léman near the Swiss border. The vines are situated in three appellations: Crépy, Marignan and Marin. Dominique Lucas made the decision to downgrade to the ‘IGP’ (Indication géographique protégée) ‘Vin des Allobroges’, a move that has allowed him more freedom as a winemaker. He makes wine out of predominantly Chasselas, a local Swiss grape variety, but has Chardonnay, Savagnin, Chenin and Pinot Gris vines to make his blends. His domain places emphasis on grape quality, soil quality and the local environment. Not content with the Ecocert certification, Lucas employs biodynamic methods in his vineyard. The soil is tilled by horses to avoid compaction and his vines are worked exclusively by hand. Multiple harvests are carried out to ensure that all grapes reach optimum ripeness. Animals are also at the heart of his approach and sheep graze amongst the vines. He is guided by the lunar calendar throughout the whole process.