Overlooking the majestic Alps on the opposite shore that are mirrored in the lake, the Lavaux vineyards – gold-tinged in the fall, snow-draped in winter – come into their own in the summer.

Aligned on terraces, the vines break into bud and then flower. Each grape is like a pearl, a precious gift from the vineyards. We watch carefully over this land we love: its soil imparts minerals to the grapes and forges the character of our wines.

The vineyards

Declared a UNESCO heritage site in 2007, Lavaux has a multitude of different terroirs

Chasselas roux

Chasselas roux is the main grape variety grown on the estate. It fills nearly 70% of our vineyards in Dézaley, Calamin, Epesses and Saint Saphorin.

 

Terraced into steep slopes, the vineyards share strong exposure to sunlight but vary in terms of terroir – soil and micro-climate. The exposure makes it possible to produce exceptional, highly complex Chasselas wines.

New varieties

To diversify and enrich our range of wines, we have also planted some new varieties in our terroirs. Various experiments with top grafting, started in the early 1990s, resulted in our opting to plant white Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, as well as red Merlot and Syrah.

 


The successful adaptation of a newly-implanted variety to a terroir is often delicate because of the complex nature of its interaction with the climate and soil. But we were able to show that, planted in gravelly soil, both Chenin and Sauvignon Blanc manifest extraordinary aromatic expression. Syrahs and Merlots do beautifully when planted along the bottom of a hill because they benefit from both the humidity of the lake and the rays of the sun. Tannins mature slowly and make for powerful yet elegant wine. Syrah and Merlot now occupy nearly 15% of our vineyards.

 

The "Conservatoire Mondial du Chasselas"

In 2010, Domaine Louis Bovard made 3,000 square meters of land available to create the “Conservatoire Mondial du Chasselas” where various varieties of Chasselas are conserved. Located above the village of Rivaz, the Conservatoire was realized in partnership with Vaud’s Office Cantonal de la Viticulture and the Swiss federal Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil

research station.

 

Presently, 19 varieties of Chasselas grow at the Conservatoire. In the upper section are the five varieties that predominate in the canton of Vaud: Fendant roux, Vert de la Côte, Giclet, Blanchette and Bois rouge. Four hundred rootstocks of each variety were planted for winemaking purposes, the objective being to compare their potential as wine grapes and examine if the Fendant roux variety (the most common in Vaud) continues to be the most interesting both enologically – in terms of acidity, aromatic potential, and aging – and culturally. The first harvest is planned for October 2013.