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In the cellars with Jean-Louis Chave

About Domaine Jean-Louis Chave

The Chave family is as emblematic of Hermitage as its steep terraced vineyards, boasting a knowledge of the local terroirs that’s been in the family DNA for 16 continuous generations since the late 15th century. Ardent perfectionist Jean-Louis Chave took his place at the helm of the family estate in the 1990s and has become one of the Northern Rhône’s most iconic producers ever since. Based out of the village of Mauve, he farms 15 hectares of Syrah, Marsanne and Roussane organically in Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, and St. Joseph. After the big co-ops and négociants, he is the largest landowner in Hermitage, with vineyards in the appellation’s most coveted granite and clay/limestone soils.

Jean-Louis follows very traditional methods in the cellar. After harvest, he cools the grapes and de-stems about 80% of his crop. During maceration, Jean-Louis and his team employ regular punch-downs, sometimes by foot. He then ages the wines—both the whites and the reds—for up to 18 months in oak barrels of ages appropriate to the vintage, and bottles them unfiltered. Pure, aromatic and explosive with minerality, they can age extremely well for decades.

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