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Originally, the Chave family settled in Mauves in St. Joseph, but later moved to the area near Tain l’Hermitage, where they reside today. But, St. Joseph was always at the center of their love of Rhone wines, and an area where they continue to expand and devote much attention. To ensure quality, Jean-Louis works with growers who share his devotion to quality, practice organic farming and the preservation of terroir in the finished wines. His goal is to produce wine that is authentic and represents the best of the appellation and the grape.
Domaine Jean-Louis Chave is a family owned winery. It has been passed from father to son since 1481. The Domaine is currently under the direction of Jean-Louis Chave, though his father, Gérard, is still around the domaine for occasional advice.
When phylloxera hit in the 19th century they were obliged to move down to the Rhône valley to diversify into fruit farming, basing themselves in the village of Mauves where the cellars are today. It was at this time that a particularly smart ancestor decided to cross the Rhône river and lay claim to parcels of land on the hill of Hermitage. Jean Louis has once again created the terraces in Lemps where his 60 to 80 year-old-vines grow. He says ‘It's like restoring an ancient monument’.
They work their way up the vineyards, constantly clearing away the overbrush that grows wild in that area. Once they make it to the top they have to start again at the bottom.
Saint-Joseph or St.-Joseph is a French wine Appellation d'Origine ContrÃ´lÃ©e (AOC) in the northern RhÃ´ne wine region of France. Though the appellation covers the largest amount of land, it is second in actual size under vine to Crozes-Hermitage, an appellation with which it shares much regarding style and prestige. While St.-Joseph is primarily a red wine region based on the Syrah grape, there may be up to 10% of white (Roussanne or Marsanne) grapes in the blend.