Le Chai Duchet Village: Viré Appellation: 10.5ha Viré-Clessé Grower: Alexis Duchet Website: https://lechaiduchet.com/ Downloadable PDF Alexis is the seventh generation to work his family’s land in the village of Viré which is situated in the Haut-Maconnais, 18km north of Macon. In 1928 Alexis’ great grandparents joined with other wine growers of Viré to create a cooperative which enabled them to both vinify and commercialize their wines. Alexis’ parents were working with this same cooperative until 2013 by Alexis and his parents decided to build a small winery, “Le Chai Duchet” so that Alexis could produce estate bottled wines. Before rejoining his parents, Alexis travelled extensively doing winemaking stints in unusual places such as Margaret River and Ontario Lake as well as closer to home in Meursault and the Savoie. He has inherited 9.5 hectares from his parents; 7ha in Viré-Clessé and 2.5ha in Macon-Villages. Additionally Alexis rents 1.5h of old vines in Viré-Clessé. Alexis’father stopped using chemicals in the vineyard during the 1980’s when he saw problems of erosion and for the last ten years he has farmed his land organically despite the fact that the cooperative offered him no extra money for his grapes. Alexis is continuing in the same philosophy and as of the 2021 vintage, the domain is certified organic. In 1937 the wines of Viré sold for the same price as those of Pouilly-Fuisse and when the Appellation D’Origine Controlée was offered to the wine producers of Viré in that year, they refused because they didn’t want to pay the extra tax that came along with the upgraded status. The thinking was that they already sold all the wine they produced at a good price, so why pay the government more money just to have official recognition. In 1963, having regretted their earlier decision they applied to the INAO for recognition and were denied, a decision based primarily on the small size of Viré’s vineyards which totaled 120 hectares. Finally, after many years of pressing their case with the INAO the growers of Viré decided to join forces with the growers in the neighboring village of Clessé to create a joined appellation. In 1997 the INAO voted to accept their proposal and the appellation of Viré-Clessé was born. At Le Chai Duchet all harvesting is done early in the morning by machine. The wines are fermented with their indigenous yeast and the total SO2 under 30mg/L. Viré-Clessé Quintessence The cuvée “Quintessence” is produced from a walled “clos” called “le Virolis” which has very deep limestone soils with a thin layer (30cm) of top soil. The vines are at least 70 years old. The vinification is in stainless steel and the wine is matured in cement vats for up to 12 months. Viré-Clessé The Viré-Clessé is produced from several neighboring parcels; les Rapières, Boulaise, les Quarts and aux Menards. All the vines are at least 60 years old. The vinification is in stainless steel and the wine is matured in cement vats for up to 12 months. Macon-Villages The Macon-Villages comes from parcels of old vines situated on the lower elevations of the Viré slopes. The average age of vines is 70 years but a portion of the vineyard was planted more than 90 years ago. The combination of “massale” selection and old vines gives the wine a distinctive personality. The vinification is in stainless steel and the wine is matured “sur lie” in stainless steel vats for 6 months. Macon "Berry Story" The cuvée “Berry Story” is produced from a small parcel (.72ha) of young vines situated on the lower elevations of the Viré vineyards. The vines are planted at a high density on clay-limestone soils. The wine is vinified in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts which is followed by three months of aging on the lees.