Les Vignes de Paradis

Dominique Lucas has chosen what many would deem a quixotic pursuit: to make Chasselas in the Savoie that stands with the best white wines of France. Despite the grape's lowly reputation, Dominique has been planting the grape (along with a little bit of Savagnin) on serious terroirs overlooking Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and farming them biodynamically since day one. Part of a 5th generation winemaking family from Burgundy, Dominique made the somewhat crazy decision to leave home in 2008 and farm 7.5ha in the Haut-Savoie. Why? He didn’t like the watchful gaze of his neighbors in Burgundy, he didn’t like their chemicals in his vineyards, and he did not like working within the confines of the Burgundy appellation system. To this day, he still doesn’t like to make wine to fit anyone’s standards but his own (and perhaps those of his buddy Dominique Belluard, with whom he exchanges many ideas). So far, the results have been eye-opening. He also makes a small amount of Burgundy from 2.5ha of vines on his family’s old estate near Pommard. These are all wines of great energy, and we expect big things from him in the future as his vineyards come into maturity.