By Michel Logoz, excerpt from « The Millennium Odyssey of Clos du Crosex Grillé ».
She is Suzann Churchill, daughter of the Duke of Marlborough, fifth in line. After the death of her father, she became the ward of Lord Melbourne, Prime Minister to Queen Victoria. At the time, it was fashionable to send young English girls to complete their education in Swiss finishing schools, she therefore lived in Geneva and later in Lausanne in 1834.
He is Aimé-Timothée Cuénod, son of a pastor of Villette by the lake Geneva.
They meet at a masked ball, which brings together young people of Lausanne’s high society. The wedding with the consent of Lord Melbourne takes place in 1837.
Bringing their financial resources together, Aimé-Timothée and Suzann Cuénod founded the bank Cuénod-Churchill in Vevey, which later became the Cuénod Bank, before being absorbed by the Union Bank of Switzerland.
Together the young couple had acquired, the Clos du Crosex Grillé, which they cherished and for long the product of this vineyard was seen as a trophy both in Switzerland and England.
Henceforth this Grand Cru vaudois became the hero of many receptions and galas of the English nobility. Very attached to this vineyard the Cuénod and Churchill families remained co-owners until the eve of World War II.
Leading figure of Switzerland, the tenor Hughes Cuénod, who died in Vevey in 2010 at the age of 108 years, was a worthy descendant of this family. Combined with the celebrity of the Churchills, the Clos du Crosex Grillé kept its place in the history of the canton de Vaud.
The illustrious descendant of the Marlborough family, Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), hero of the Second World War is still present in all minds in the region following his stay on the banks of Lake Geneva in 1946, during which he paid a visit to Clos du Crosex Grillé and drew wine from the barrel.
From the British Empire to a publishing empire
Jacques Lamunière and Samuel Payot who presided over the destiny of the Sedunia press group, acquired the Clos du Crosex Grillé. These prominent figures of the Swiss economy, further contributed to the reputation of the Crosex Grillé. The wine became a must at all famous tables in Switzerland. In 1980 the media group sold the vineyard to Paul Tille, who was actually managing the estate and made the wine.
Clos du Crosex Grillé, a steep 2.6 hectares terraced vineyard on a glacier moraine
Recent history and location
In 2002 the vineyard was taken over by the current owners: Philippe Gex (Cave la Pierre Latine) and Bernard Cavé (Domaine Bernard Cavé).
The Clos du Crosex Grillé is located in Aigle a city at the western door of the Alps. The 2.6 hectares climb up the mountainside, facing south on a glacier moraine rich in limestone. The vineyards altitude starts at 450 meters and culminates at 520 meters.
Given its steep slope, the vineyard is operated manually and the yield is purposely kept low. Production in good years may amount to a maximum of 17,000 bottles, making this an authentic and rare product.
Philippe Gex and Bernard Cavé, owner and winemaker