You’d be hard-pressed to find a more dramatic place to grow vines than in the Valais. Situated in the broad […]Keep Reading
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more dramatic place to grow vines than in the Valais. Situated in the broad Alpine valley carved by the Rhône river, many of the most productive vineyards are situated on the deep alluvial clays on the valley floor, but the best sites can be found on slopes climbing into the mountains which benefit from the poorer soils, southern exposure and the cooling influence from the surrounding peaks. The Valais is the largest wine-producing region in Switzerland, providing a third of the wine made in this small country. Protected on three sides by the Alps, this is also the driest and sunniest part of Switzerland in the summer, as well as a skiing destination in the winter – add some fantastic wine, and it is no wonder anyone who visits falls for the charms of this remarkable place.
Claudy Clavien was born in the Valais to a family that owned two hectares of vines above the village of Miège. Miège marks the far eastern edge of Francophone Valais, and as you travel further, French gives way to German. After studying enology at Changins, Claudy returned to Miège and founded La Cave des Champs in 1986. Starting with his parents’ 2 hectares of vines, he has expanded his vineyard holdings to 6 hectares. Despite the short history of La Cave des Champs, winemaking near Miège predates the Romans, with evidence of Celtic viticulture found at several nearby archeological sites. It is only fitting then that Claudy has emerged as a proponent of the Valais’ indigenous grape varieties – Petite Arvine, Païen (Savagnin Blanc), Fendant (Chasselas), Humagne Rouge, and Cornalin. In addition to these ancient varieties, he also grows Chardonnay, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sylvaner, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Diolinoir, and Carminoir. From his six hectares and 15 varieties, Claudy makes between 22-24 cuvées each vintage, so his modest cellar is run with a precision that borders on cliché. With a small production of just under 3,500 cases per year and the great demand for his wines in Switzerland, we are thrilled to offer two of his iconic cuvées – Païen, Larmes du Terroir, and Petite Arvine, Perles du Soleil.Close