Domaine de Lucey
Erwan Buchwalter’s quest for the perfect vineyard culminated in a fortuitous encounter with the Château de Lucey, a historical site in Savoie that became the first home of Altesse vines in the region. After mastering biodynamic farming and vinification at Valentin Zusslin in Alsace, Erwan sought a special terroir with rich biodiversity. After years of searching, he knew he found it while gazing at the sun over the Lac du Bourget, surrounded by the lush diversity of pastures and forests.
In January 2022, Erwan acquired the parcels and winery of the former barony, heralding a new beginning for the Domaine de Lucey. Today, the parcels stretch over 6.5 ha, with 80% dedicated to Altesse and the remaining to Pinot Noir and Mondeuse. Organic agriculture has been the norm since 2013 and certified in 2016.
Erwan’s vines are nestled in the heart of Lucey, a small village renowned for its limestone cliffs sculpted by ancient glaciers. The Chemins vineyard is graced with a mixture of glacial moraines and Jurassic limestone, with a shallow clay soil resting on a limestone slab. Meanwhile, the Monettes vineyard boasts deep Jurassic argilo-calcareous soils. Pinot Noir is grown on a parcel bordering the Rhône river, where alluvial deposits meet rocky outcrops of oolitic limestone, resulting in a complex and heterogeneous soil. All of the vines are located between 300m and 420m above sea level, some of which are planted on one of the steepest slopes in Savoie. Each wine, from the fresh and lively Chemins to the rich and textured Monette, embodies the essence of its terroir.
Biodynamic principles are a defining aspect of Domaine de Lucey. For Erwan, biodynamic farming is a means of conversing with his vines, caring for and nurturing their growth, empathizing and exchanging with them, and adapting to changes in weather and climate. Erwan adopted biodynamic principles immediately upon arrival, abandoning conventional treatments in favor of infusions and fermented extracts of nettle, willow, chamomile, propolis, valerian, and more. Vinification still takes place in the ancient fortress without any additives. The goal is to produce longer-aging wines that can reveal their full potential over several years.
On the gravel soil, which is nourished by the Rhône river, Erwan plans to experiment with new viticultural techniques and grape varieties, through maximizing the terroir's potential while adapting to an ever-changing climate.