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Domaine du Vissoux

In 1982 at the age of 22, Pierre-Marie Chermette graduated with his State Oenology Diploma from the university of Lyon, and took over his father Maurice Chermette's domaine in Saint Vérand-les-Vissoux in the Beaujolais region in the south of Burgundy. After completing her studies in Business, Pierre-Marie's wife Martine joined the domaine in 1990, and then in 2017, after studying wine and international trade, their son Jean-Etienne also joined the family business. The property is old, dating back to at least 1772, and genealogical research shows that the family have been in Vissoux since the 17th century. Pierre-Marie's great grandfather Claude-Marie Vissoux constructed the cellars in 1873. In 1946 Eugénie Vissoux married Maurice Chermette, who replanted vines. He sold his wines to négociants and his cellar gained a good reputation. They combine tradition with modern approaches, being one of the first Beaujolais producers to use sustainable and organic farming methods, and in 2019 they gained Terra Vitis certification for wines from the 2018 vintage. The wines are made with minimal intervention, the grapes are hand-picked, they use native yeasts to ferment, and do not filter if possible. In 1990 they bought three small plots from an aunt of Martine in Vaux-en-Beaujolais [Rochefolle, Plageret and Fagolet], which are planted with vines more than 100 years old, and the wine made from these gnarly old vines, the Cuvée Traditionnelle [renamed Origine Vieilles Vignes since the 2018 vintage], has become emblematic of the estate. An impressive new winery was completed in 2015. Vinification is the traditional semi-carbonic maceration method. Some cuvées are aged in stainless steel, but the majority are aged in barrels, including some large oak casks made by Pierre-Marie's great grandfather Claude-Marie, and their Beaujolias Blanc wines are aged in acacia barrels; all kept in the magnificent vaulted cellars built by Claude-Marie Vissoux in 1873. They make a wide range of wines, including Fleurie, Moulin à Vent and Brouilly. These are ripe and fleshy wines with bright fruit and wonderful perfumed aromas. The estate was renamed Domaines Chermette in 1986 because it now extends beyond Vissoux with vineyard plots from north to south of the Beaujolais region, and they added an S to represent the plurality of the appellations, terroirs, wines and people that unite the Chermette style.