Article taken from the website www.romanduvin.ch, 3 juin 2006


Create a center dedicated to the great Lake Geneva grape like the French centers dedicated to Pinot Black or Alsatian regional plants. The idea trotted into the head of Louis-Philippe Bovard for quite some time. His travels in neighboring countries had allowed him to become familiar with its conservatories established by the wine regions. For inventory and safeguard the genetic heritage of a variety, these institutes also offer a platform for research professionals. In addition, they are popular consumer promotional windows.

The concept defined, it was a trigger. This will be the Waldensian Heritage Award, a competition organized by the Popular Retreats during their centenary. Whose theme Chasselas Vaudois, the 2008 offered a sum of 30,000 francs to an innovative project, durable, original, accessible to a wide audience and highlighting the heritage aspect of the grape. The Chasselas Conservatory designed by our winemaker relies on close partnerships with Agroscope Changins and Cantonal Office of viticulture. His ambition to "bring together a wide range of different varieties Chasselas existing in the world and use for business purposes, promotional and tourist" could only appeal to the selection committee who distinguished among ten competitors .

Knowing his past for the future
Located in the municipality of Rivaz, within walking distance of the future wine tourism space Moulins de Rivaz, the conservatory consists of a plot of 3000 meters divided into two separate entities. The collection Ampelographic identify twenty varieties represented by a dozen stocks. These allow visitors to be aware of the existing diversity in terms of foliage, color or shape of the cluster. As for grapes produced, they give birth to a "Cuvée du Conservatoire."
Much of the land is available, however, reserved for five types of Chasselas having played an important role in the development of Vaud vineyards. Three hundred feet of each plant-Fendant Red, Green Coast, Giclet, Blanchette and Wood Red-form five grown and vinified separately lots. The main objective is to compare these different plants, their suitability to the soil as well as quality wine grapes. In a second step, Louis-Philippe Bovard hope to show that some old varieties professionals could play an important role in the vineyard tomorrow.

1956 the year of the great disaster
Filigree conservatory project emerges the desire to raise the level of recognition as the Chasselas grape to give him international recognition. Restore, as the winemaker Cully is convinced, the reputation of our variety was once well established.
A weather event changed everything: the frost of 1956. Polar temperatures that characterize this devastating winter affectèrent throughout Europe and wiped out many crops. In the canton of Vaud, almost all the vineyards were affected. During the reconstruction, which is spread over five or six years, winemakers have abandoned traditional varieties and planted new, more generous and more resistant selections. Consequence their standard of living improves. Unfortunately, at the expense of quality wines and the reputation of the Chasselas.

Today, the concept of quality has taken precedence over that amount. Winemaking techniques have improved. Louis-Philippe Bovard even believes that "the most is made in the basement, but we can still progress in the vineyard, where are the great wines." Testing at conservatory future Rivaz will test the oenological potential of plants that no longer exist in the present time in the form of plant material. For the first tastings appointment in 2014. But the success of the old Waldensian rediscovered varieties like Robert Plant or Servagnin Morges portends interesting results.

Chasselas engages en primeur
In parallel with the "Legacy Award Vaudois" contest, Popular Retreats have developed a partnership with Editions Favre leading to the creation of a collection dedicated to cantonal identity icons. First book in this series, Chasselas tribute to the king of grapes romands compiling economic, cultural, historical and wine. Written by Claude district, former editor of the Agri and layout by Oscar Ribes, creator of the Vaudois Wine brand, this monograph is intended, according to its author, to "rediscover the Chasselas as it was and as ". Composed of one hundred independent texts detailing the history, current events, wine or grape marketing, Chasselas turns a watchful eye on the love story between consumers and their favorite Vaud wine.

This article appeared in Issue 34 (Spring / Summer 2009) The Guillon The review of Vaud wine

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