The diminutive Natacha Chave is undoubtedly a future star of the appellation. Natacha’s parents realized their dream of becoming winemakers and their small estate was passed on to Natacha’s brother. Instead of joining him, Natacha felt she needed the independence to make wines in her style from start to finish. She began with a small plot in St Joseph in 2004. She then purchased her first 5.5 hectares of old vine Crozes-Hermitage in 2007 and has been making fabulous wines ever since. She has been featured in top wine magazine Decanter as one of the 6 winemakers to watch in the Northern Rhone, and we feel very privileged to bring her wines into the US. The name ‘Aléofane’ comes from a book by John MacMillan Brown regarding a fictional island. The word ‘Aléofane’ here translates as ‘a gem of truth’.
This ‘gem of truth’ is directly reflected in her wines. According to Natacha Chave, “Our immediate will is the respect of nature, soils, grapes and is to be as little as interventionist as possible both in grape growing and in winemaking process.” Grass is left to grow between the rows of vines building biodiversity in the vineyard, biodynamic preparations are utilized that favor the stimulation of the plants natural immunity balancing the site. She is a minimalist in the cellar allowing the vineyard to speak its truth vintage to vintage by utilizing only indigenous yeasts for fermentation. The wines are then left unfined and unfiltered with minimal sulfur at bottling. Natacha’s approach is very time consuming, but the payoff is well worth it.
- Crozes Hermitage