Region: Savoie, France
Viticulture: Biodynamic + Regenerative
Soils: Limestone + Marl + Glacial Morraine
Vinification: 3 weeks on the skin
Fining or Filtering: None
Sulfur: Minimal at bottling
Notes from the Importer: On November 24th, 1248, the north face of Mt. Granier let loose and 500 million cubic meters of limestone spilled into the valley, completely destroying 5 villages, severely damaging 2 more and killing hundreds of people. This massive landslide is an ancient tragedy with a modern day silver lining. The rockfall created an amazing terroir for vines. A number of centuries later (yet still centuries ago), the Giachino family began farming vines on this terroir to supplement the cereals, nuts and fruits they were farming in the Grésivaudan plain. In 1988, Frédéric took over these 1.5HA of vines and dedicated himself to wine production. Over the years the farming evolved until becoming completely organic in 2006, the same year his brother David joined the domaine. Biodynamics soon followed. They initially worked with the familiar varieties of Jacquère, Mondeuse, Gamay and Altesse. But the thinking here evolved as well, likely due to the friendship with Michel Grisard, who advocated for older varieties of the region. Soon Giachino began working with Persan, Etraire de la Duy, Mondeuse Blanche, Verdesse, etc.
In 2015, the friendship with Grissard yielded yet more fruit. Michel decided to retire from his iconic domiane, Prieuré Saint-Christophe. He selected the Giachino family to take over his vines and carry on the deep tradition he started - no small compliment from a man as thoughtful, particular and talented as Michel Grissard.
Domaine Giachino is a model of how purely a domaine can be run. The philosophy of sustainability and stewardship is considered with each decision and maintained throughout each part of the process. The fact that the wines are so delicious is a bonus and also an affirmation that virtuous actions can lead to righteous wines.
Monfarina is a delightful wine that is the go-to daily drinker for us from Giachino. It has lovely texture that reminds one a little of Chenin Blanc but the flavors and overall vibe are more alpine. The name comes from a traditional Piedmontese Folk Dance - the one you do with a bunch of people after drinking joyous wine...