Region: Bugey, France
Soils: Clay + Limestone
Vinification: Whole-cluster fermentation in vats
Aging: 9 months in vats + foudre
Fining or Filtering: None
Sulfur: None added
Notes from the Importer: Originally from the Jura, Mathieu Apffel has been producing wine in Savoie since 2013, making small amounts of Apremont with a friend before striking out on his own in 2017. That year, he was able to acquire land and a cellar from a retiring vigneron and produce a first vintage under his name. In 2020 he was joined by wife Camille, and together they work roughly 4.5 hectares of land.
Located in the village of Saint-Baldoph, the majority of Camille and Mathieu's land consists of Jacquère vines planted outside the winery: a serene three hectares surrounded by quaint houses and, not too far in the distance, the imposing Massif de Chartreuse. The vines are 30 to 70 years old, 250-350m in altitude, exposed southeast and planted on clay and limestone soils heavy in fragmented mica-schist and quartz brought by ancient glaciers. The rest of the vines are planted in the nearby village of Saint-Alban, where Jacquère grows alongside Altesse on a steep, gravelly hill. Though 80% of the production consists of white wine, a small amount of Gamay and Mondeuse is also produced.
Though not abusive in his farming, the prior owner worked conventionally and the couple are converting the estate to organic viticulture as well as using biodynamic techniques to enhance the energy inside the farm’s
ecosystem. 100% of the work is done manually and 2021 marked the first vintage of superficial soil work between the rows.
In the cellar, Mathieu comes from the "infusion" school of winemaking: eschewing the traditional concept of extraction, the goal is to slowly and subtly impart flavor to the juice with whole-clusters: think of it as making tea instead of brewing coffee. The fermentations take place in stainless and fiberglass tanks as well as barrels; this is more by necessity than anything else, as he inherited the vessels with the winery and is at his very beginnings. Though not dogmatic, Mathieu firmly believes in making wine without filtration or the addition of sulfur