From the shores of Lake Léman (at 380 metres) the Lavaux vineyards rise up to an altitude of 600 metres and are constructed entirely in terraces. The steep slope facilitates the running down of the surface waters and the drainage of the soil. The terraces are held by wall and due to this manner of construction no mechanised means can be used in the vineyard.
The soil generally is composed of clay and limestone. Due to the macro porosity of the soil and the type of base-rock, the roots may at times reach down to a depth of 3 to 5 metres.
As it is very sensitive to the specificity of the soil, the Chasselas vine develops its typical character well on the slopes of the Lavaux. Some portions are also favourable for the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir.
The vineyard benefits from "three suns": the reflection from the lake, the thermic effect of the walls and the local air currents. The latter protect the harvest against the humidity in autumn in a natural way. Protected by this specific microclimate, the grapes achieve a superior maturity.
The Domaines - Lavaux and Vouvry
The Gathering in the Grapes
Generally the harvest takes place between end of September and end of October. Various parameters come into play, i.e. the annual climate, the factors influencing the yield, the sought-after maturity index (the relation between sugars and acids), but above all the physiological maturity that may be determined by tasting the grapes, and the maturity of the grape-stones
The Dubois family domains stretch along the Lavaux coastline from Epesses to St-Saphorin. The wine is pressed, fermented and bottled at the Vieux Pressoir in Epesses.
Dézaley - Marsens
Earth is fixed to the steep slope by root cover (plant living on rocks and walls).
Medium to heavy soil, highly silty and sandy loam. A balanced land rich in organic matter and a strong presence of earthworms. Depth of the earth (140cm), where rooting stops on gray molasse.
Deep soil, thanks to the walls of high vines. Medium to heavy soil, sandy limestone. Fine texture, balanced, tendency to settlement. A good presence of organic matter, activity of earthworms favouring the formation of lumps. Pebbles (20%), provenance glacier moraine.
Good circulation of air and water at depth, the soil rests on a gray molasse of 30 million years.
Light and deep earth, permeable, easy to work (earth and garden).
Balanced and uniform soil, favorable to the cultivation of the vine, regular vegetation.
The vineyards of Vouvry sit in a comfortable position at the bottom of the mountain that is mainly made up of Dolomite rock.
The Dubois vineyard covers 13 hectares and is characterised by a high content of active limestone of 18 to 35 % with some peaks of up to 50 % (Amarel). The gritty soil, is of clay and limestone composition. To take advantage of the latter, vine varieties are chosen that are resistant to the limestone and that have lengthy roots.
The red vines represent about 80 % of the vineyard and are split up in 25 % Pinot Noir and 75 % Gamay.
As far as the white vines are concerned, the Riesling-Silvaner and the Chasselas make up one quarter and for the balance you find Pinot gris, Pinot blanc, Auxerrois and Chardonnay, which are all very carefully pressed and sought after by clients.
Some promising trials have been made with Charmont, Doral, Gamaret and Garanoir. All these early vines like the traditional ones are well adapted to the vineyard of Vouvry.
The best parcels are cultivated in terraces and support the newer varieties.
Because of its geographical situation, the vineyard of Vouvry enjoys the climate of the Lake with intensive sunshine due to its Eastern exposure.
The latter is a favourable condition for good aromas and flavours in its wines, which distinguish themselves by their balance and good keeping qualities.