Les Vignes de Paradis

7 March 2024
“Dominique is one of the most clear-thinking winemakers of the French Alps. It is a joy to see this potential for making Savoie Chasselas great again” – Wink Lorch, Wines of the French Alps
A bastion of artisanal Savoie winemaking, Dominique Lucas is resetting drinkers’ expectations of Chasselas with an array of extraordinarily complex wines made from the slopes above Lake Geneva.
Originally from Burgundy, fifth-generation winemaker Dominique grew disillusioned with his homeland’s attitudes to chemical farming and land costs. In 2001, he took a job in Haute-Savoie and, after gradually buying up old plots and planting new vineyards, he founded Les Vignes de Paradis near the French-Swiss border in 2008.
Using cutting-edge biodynamic farming methods, Dominique tends 7.5ha of Chasselas, along with a little Chardonnay, Altesse, and Savagnin around Crépy, Marin, Ripaille, and Marignan and works with a handful of top local growers for his micro-négociant project Terroirs du Léman.
Dominique harvests low yields of late-picked fruit with multiple passes through the vineyards, forgoing the need to chaptalize (add sugar to extend fermentations, creating more alcohol) unlike many Savoie vignerons. Inside his winery he employs an assortment of vinification methods and vessels, including amphorae, barrels, and concrete eggs to craft deeply flavoured wines with crystalline minerality and beautiful tension.
Aged in large barrels for 9 months, ‘Un P'tit Coin de Paradis’ offers a smoky orchard fruit character balanced by zesty acidity, while ‘Son Altesse’ – from a 60-year-old plot of Altesse (aka Roussette) aged in concrete eggs – combines intense yellow fruit with savoury minerality. Vinified in clay amphorae, ‘Amphore’ is richly layered with lemon, chamomile, and herbs.
Savoie’s transformation from the land of unexciting wine to one of France’s most vibrant regions is thanks to exceptional vignerons like Dominique and his delicious bottles.
Terroirs du Léman ‘Un P'tit Coin de Paradis’ 2022 (£38)
Taut and finessed – poached pear, spices, and citrus bitters.
‘Son Altesse’ 2022 (£49)
Ultra-fresh combining pure citrus with moreish savoury nuances.
Terroirs du Léman ‘Amphore’ 2022 (£51)
Winter spices, lemon peel, herbs, and white flowers. Rounded and long.

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