The Chave family has been working in the vineyard since 1841. Coming from the Ardèche region, the first members of the family were but humble peasants who settled to the north of Valence, in the small village of Tournon-sur-Rhône (in the Rhône Valley). At the time, one of the local lords (whose name history has forgotten) decided to knight the Chaves and offered them a farmstead as well as a vineyard to cultivate. In the 15th century, there were five known appellations produced by the family: Bachasson, Chalaix, Les Champs, Les Oliviers and Le Doux.
Four hundred years went by and the Chave family developed their wine estate, generation after generation. In the 19th century, doom fell upon the clan: the phylloxera bug devastated the entire region. The Chaves had no choice but to leave the vineyard behind. They stopped producing wine altogether. It took decades for the estate to come back to life and it was all thanks to one man: Jean-Louis Chave. Proud member of the 17th generation of winemakers and grandson of Jean-Louis Chave Senior, Jean-Louis came here to restart the family legacy and the wine production. The vineyard was on its last legs, but from disaster came an unexpected opportunity.
Indeed, a lot of land owners now wanted to get rid of their vineyard parcels. After all, they had been ruined by the flying pests and thought it was time to look for other investments. Thus, Jean-Louis managed to snag a 15 hectares parcel of the legendary Hermitagegrand cru appellation, for next to nothing. Later, in 1996, he chose to resurrect the Bachasson locality, in memory of the family heritage and as an homage to the incredible Saint-Joseph terroir (an appellation created in the 17th century, which was before simply known as "Vin de Mauves" by the locals).
For 15 years, Jean-Louis toiled day and night to rebuild the 1,5 hectares appellation. A monumental amount of work, not unlike what Henri Jayer went through to create his famous Cros Parantoux. He also bought the Clos Florentin in 2009, located to the south, on the commune of Mauves. Today, Jean-Louis Chave, his children and his father Gérard work together on their 30 hectares of vineyard. No effort is too great to produce a wine steeped in tradition and excellence, with no chemicals, and known all over the world (Kermit Lynch and Robert Parker are big fans of this family wine estate).
Discover the wines from the Domaine Jean-Louis Chave.