This is one of the great French wine estates with a heritage dating back to the 15th century and a family ownership that works with total respect for the traditions of that heritage and of their land. They even punch down the cap of some of their fermenting wines by foot. We have worked with two generations of Chaves, in the form of Gérard and now his remarkably talented son Jean-Louis.
Their great renown rests mostly on their superb Hermitage wines made from significant holdings (about 21 hectares) of vines spread across that famous appellation. They are skilful growers, but also terrific blenders, pulling together the components of their terroirs into much more than the sum of their parts and tying together the multiple strands of the mosaic of soils and rocks that make up the hill of Hermitage. These include splendid sites such as Les Bessards, Rocoules, L’Hermite and Méal.
From their ancient cellars in the town of Mauve they make outstanding Hermitage wines in both red and white, the former from syrah, of course, and the latter from roussanne and marsanne. All their domaine wines are bottled unfiltered.
As well as their world-famous Hermitage, they make excellent Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage and Côtes-du-Rhône, as well as a range of négociant wines from across the region. They are also still wedded to the Ardèche, their original home and where they feel they belong. They still have a family home their and maintain the vineyards that were the first the family ever owned, in and around the village of Lemps that are now embraced by the Saint-Joseph appellation.