You may not have heard of this domaine before, but it won't be a secret much longer. Chave is making superb wines. - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
The domaine of Yann Chave, a family heritage in the heart of the northern Rhône and the Crozes Hermitage appellation, exists above all because of two mens' passion for their craft. Yann and his father, Bernard, have transformed this domaine into a reference for wine lovers looking for a combination of subtlety and generosity. Yann himself is a passionate man, and his character speaks through his wines.
A history of the Domaine. In June 1970 Nicole and Bernard Chave buy a small property, consisting of 4 hectares in the village of Mercurol, in the Drôme; 1 hectare is planted with Crozes Hermitage vines and the rest is orchards: cherries, apricots, pears and apples. From 1972 and over a number of years they add to the property, and plant new plots either with vines or fruit trees. By 1994 they own almost 16 hectares, including 1 hectare of Hermitage, 6,5 hectares of Crozes Hermitage and 8,5 hectares of orchards. From 1970 to 1973 they sell their grapes through a négociant, and in 1973 they produce their first tank of wine. In 1974 they join the Tain l'Hermitage cooperative winery until 1978, but in 1979 they decide to create their own winery. In 1983 they build an underground cellar. At this stage the production is sold to négociants and to private buyers, both in bottle and in bulk. In 1996, after finishing his studies and military obligations, their son, Yann, officially integrates the family business, and works alongside his parents on the vineyards and in winemaking. He restructures the vineyard, putting quality first. Yann is given the opportunity to rent 5 more hectares of vines, and plants new vineyard plots. The property continues to grow, and by 2007 there are some 20 hectares of vines, all the orchards having been replaced. In 2003 Yann creates a new winery. Today, the vast majority of the production is sold in bottle. Depending on the year, export represents about 60% of sales (Europe, America, Asia, Australasia), the rest being sold in France: retailers, restaurants (amongst which are Bocuse, Ducasse, Troisgros, Marcon, Pic, Chabran, Têtedoie, Les Cèdres, etc).
"This Chave family (not related to the Chaves of Mauves) is located on the downslope heading into Tain l'Hermitage on the eastern flank of the Rhone River. They produce a small amount of Hermitage, but their specialty is Crozes-Hermitage." Robert M. Parker, Jr.
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