👹 Explore The Wines From The Imitiable Yann Durieux!👹

Domaine de Beudon

In the early 1970’s, Jaques “Jacky” Granges headed up into the mountains of Fully between Martigny and Saillon, and established himself and his domaine on a rounded outcrop of rock surrounded by the wild, steep and craggy slopes of the Valais, high above the Rhône that weaves through the base of the valley below.

Many written articles and many people could be quoted to have described Jacky as “crazy” at that time, mainly because the place where he chose on which to establish his domaine was incredibly rugged and remote - to access it you have to hike on foot for two hours, up a steep path flanked by a guidance rope that snakes up into the rocks above, or later it became possible to take a tiny cable car that the family installed for private use. But he also earned this moniker because of the geography of the  site itself, not just the location, it was just so steep and so high, the pockets of clear space amongst the rocks in which the vines were planted are on hair-raising slopes of angles up to 50 degrees, and vary from 460 to 890m altitude. Indeed, incredibly tragically it was on these slopes where Jacky died in 2016, from an accident when his machinery rolled in the vineyard.

Jacky was a pioneer, not only because of setting our alone to forge a domaine in the alpine wilderness, but because of how he chose to do it. The vines of the domaine were the first to be converted to biodynamics in all of Switzerland, and more broadly speaking he was one of the first to achieve biodynamic certification anywhere at that time (1992). The domaine is now managed and run by Jacky’s wife Marion Grange and their daughter, Séverine who over see all aspects of the farming and vinification of their 5 hectares, planted amongst a staggering array of trees, medicinal plants, fruit, nuts and herbs. This little oasis amongst the boulders and crags is also home to many species of animals and insects - including what is said to be one of the most diverse populations of butterflies in all of Switzerland, something that they have in common with Mythopia, another benchmark natural domaine in the Valais.

The vines of Beudon are planted on the stark granite and gneiss of the upper slopes, they cling to the rocks and their roots penetrate into the stones below, the very stones and mineral deposits which are credited with imparting a large aspect of the blinding clarity of the wines grown above. Local and more far spread varietals of fendant, humaine rouge, diolinoir, chambertin, gamaret, riesling, sylvaner, gamay and pinot noir are harvested by hand and then see their vinification begin in the vineyard itself. The juice from the white grapes makes its way down to the cellar below via a series of pipes and the red is transported by small sealed tanks that are lowered down by cables. The vines are low-yielding and produce incredibly concentrated fruit. Up in the vines they direct press to extract the juice, and down in the cellar fermentation occurs with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks, where the wine continues to rest for elévage, no oak is used at all in their process to avoid masking the delicate, nuanced balance of the wines.

Elegance, purity, singularity. The ‘vines in the sky’ and the family Grange are responsible for creating and maintaining a legacy of conservation, quality and individuality that is an asset to the wine growing community of Switzerland, and alpine regions the world over. Jacky’s dream of farming in harmony with nature and producing wine in it’s purest form has been well realised, and in the sympathetic and capable hands of his family his legacy will continue, and we will be lucky to be able to continue to explore the fruits of this stunning domaine for many years to come.