Virtually Visiting Crozes-Hermitage Through Chapoutier’s Wine – #Winophiles



This week’s #Winophiles are heading to the Northern Rhone. Rupal, known in the blogosphere as the Syrah Queen wrote her invitation post here. It’s such a welcome relief to think about wines rather than the virus. If you feel the same way, join us tomorrow, April 18th, for our chat on Twitter  at 11 am ET. Just be sure to add #Winophiles to your tweets so we can “see” you. At the bottom of my post you will see what my fellow bloggers are up to and writing about for tomorrow’s chat.

I am writing about a wine from the Chapoutier family that I received as a sample a few year ago.


Michel Chapoutier’s great-, great-, great-grandfather Marius purchased an estate and some vineyards in Tain l’Hermitage in the Northern Rhône Valley. The winery was founded in 1808 and Marius was the first to make his own wine from his grapes rather than sell them.

Michel Chapoutier is the 7th generation to run the winery which he took over in 1990. He has made the winery 100% biodynamic viticulture and has eliminated all fining and filtration.


The family motto is Latin fac et spera, or “create and hope.” This is Michel’s philosophy and is emblematic of his minimal interventionist philosophy. He believes in letting Mother Nature do her work. The region has a nature reserve park which was designated by UNESCO as a living model of sustainable development. Whites, reds and roses are made here.

The Crozes-Hermitage Les Meysonniers Rouge is made from Syrah, the wine was inky black, with black fruit and spicy aromas and flavors. It had great structure and length and a very long finish. Made from 25 year old vines, the vineyards of Crozes-Hermitage surround the great Hermitage Hill, and are cultivated under organic practice. It retails for about $38

Crozes-Hermitage vineyards are on the left bank of the Rhone River on the 45th parallel. The reds are made with Syrah while whites with Roussane and Marsanne. Some 92% of the wines are red while 8% are whites. The appellation was created in 1937, and then expanded in 1956. The land used to be covered in orchards and woods. It’s the largest of the Northern Rhone appellations and therefore has different climates and soils because it covers so much territory. In the North, it has constant winds that blow albeit it is mild in climate. In the South, the climate is more Mediterranean although winters can be cold and September can see harsh rains.

Here too the soils are varied. In some areas there are thick layers of pebbles mixed with red clay. Others have white sand, granite soils and loess. There are also different altitudes and slopes with some plateaus and some steep hillsides.

I loved this virtual tour to the Northern Rhone. What a trying time this is but these wine trips make it much more palatable.

Check of what other French Winophiles shared:


  1. Thanks for the in depth profile of the Chapoutier family. I was familiar with some of this, but your added some much appreciated depth and color Suzanne! I hope your and your loved ones are safe and healthy!

  2. During this time of seclusion I am enjoying all of these virtual travels with our wine groups. Cheers. Stay safe.

  3. It’s great to learn more about Chapoutier. I always find it impressive for such a big house that they’re biodynamic.

  4. One of the first Rhone wines I tasted was Chapoutier. Great to see Chapoutier farming biodynamically. Do you know the percentage of wineries biodynamic in the Northern Rhone by chance? I didn’t know the area was orchards before vineyards.

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