Humility and Determination
The words that best describe Maison M. Chapoutier. An Estate that nurtures its vineyards with the greatest respect for natural balance and terroir since 1808. The family motto “Fac et Spera” – do and hope – says it all. Two words that sum up all the patience and daring that this art demands: patience in relation to nature which presides; daring for the winemaker, who observes, chooses and assists. The wine will be the faithful expression of this alchemy.
Members of the Chapoutier family have been working in the Rhône valley since 1808. A distant ancestor, Polydor Chapoutier, was the first to buy vines here, shifting from being a simple grape grower to making and trading his own wine. The pioneering spirit was already part of the family tradition.
Michel, now in his forties, manages an exceptional Estate, a land rich in history and tradition. Passionately interested in expressing the character of the soil, Michel has found the means to give free rein to his convictions. A new era for the winery, welcoming changes that link traditions of the past with Michel’s daring convictions. A matter of time. Much as with every natural element, what matters is weather and earth, roots, vines and fruit. This is the basis for all the diversity and generosity of Maison M. Chapoutier.
Michel Chapoutier started his love-affair with wine at 26. A self-taught enthusiast and a curious visionary he brings to the winery a new approach and a powerful ambition. An idea of wine that soon became all-embracing. “Wine-grower, wine-maker and wine lover”. The choices he made marked a break with past principles and prejudices. A question of audacity and conviction, convictions he shares with his young team. An essential, emblematic choice too: he decided to change the taste associated with Maison M. Chapoutier, to avoid cultivating “a signature taste”, focusing instead on bringing out the difference and specific features of each terroir.
From his childhood Michel has retained fragrances and smells from the terroirs that fuelled his inspiration and passion. Scents also brought back from his journeys and encounters, from other countries and different cultures. This was a process of initiation, learning to appreciate the full diversity, richness and subtlety of wine. One essential idea emerged, the importance of terroir and its expression in wine. Being true to the earth, which gives its signature flavour to each wine. And ideas lead to commitment, defending the Appellation Controlee (AoC) system, a key battle.
Michel Chapoutier loves wine, any wines. Without chauvinism. He likes food too, the way flavours bring emotion to dishes; where food and wine pairing takes a whole new level. Michel seeks perfection, setting high standards in every aspect of his life. Welcoming goodness and beauty, saying yes to sharing, to champagne, to the conviviality of eating and drinking, to enthusiasm, obstinacy, innovation and a pioneering spirit. Yes again to clearheaded altruism, generosity and emotion. But no to sluggish, passive behaviour and people who give up before they have even tried.
A pioneering spirit, Michel Chapoutier always has a new challenge on his mind, ever on the move, his eyes fixed on the horizon. He conveys his ambition to his team, sowing ideas to make them grow, never following nor copying, always initiating and creating, opening the way. He takes his convictions to their logical conclusion, with no fear of being side-tracked or going against the grain.
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