Since Urbain Germanier gathered his first grape harvest in Balavaud in 1896, the Germanier family has been passionately devoted to its vineyard. Today Jean-René Germanier and his nephew Gilles Besse are the third and fourth generation to maintain this tradition. Their single aim is to produce top-quality wines that are an authentic reflection of the Valais soil and its Mediterranean climate. They know that everything depends on the grapes, which explains why they personally visit every plot each year. This means they have a close relationship with the wine-growers, requiring them to produce limited harvests and maintain environmentally-friendly cultivation processes, according to the Vitival standards.
The Massy family became wine-growers at the end of the 19th century, establishing their roots in Epesses. Luc and Margaret Massy have now taken the reins of the estate at the heart of Lavaux. The splendid mansion of Clos du Boux is the symbol of the estate and also the family residence, dominating the village of Epesses. Famous for its white wine, the estate also produces fresh, modern red wines.
Gialdi Vini was founded in 1953 by Guglielmo Gialdi. Today, his son, Feliciano, heads up the company. Originally established as a wine merchant, the firm underwent a major transformation in 1984 when Feliciano acquired wine operations in the lower Leventina and began producing Ticino wines. Thanks to Gialdi Vini’s substantial and ongoing investments in its wineries in Mendrisio and Bodio, the business, which today includes the companies Brivio (since 2001) and Zamberlani (since 2006), now processes nearly a million kilograms of grapes into wine every year. Gialdi’s wide range of products features wines from Sopraceneri, the grapes for which are provided by more than three hundred winegrowers from the lower Leventina, Riviera and Bleniotal areas who have been cultivating grapes with care and passion for generations. Recently Gialdi Vini expanded its production and equipped its operations with state-of-the-art technology.
The origins of the winery are hard to pinpoint as they hark well and truly back to bygone days. The name Villars could stem from the Roman word ‘villa’, since the remains of an ancient Roman road appears to run through the property, at a spot known as “Chemin de la Touille”. But, it could also come from the aristocratic “de Villars” family, which owned it during the 13th Century.
The Frick family acquired the winery in 1950, after Corps Commander Hans Frick married Esther de Mülinen. Their son Hans Wolfgang orchestrated the transaction, in exchange for land in Rolle. The de Mülinen family is related both to the de Wattevilles and the d’Erlachs. The water mill displayed on the de Mülinen family coat of arms (the name stems from German, for mill) inspired our company logo, thus bringing the winery’s heritage full-circle.
Upon taking over our winery at the end of 2014, I opted for a viticulture that is more respectful of the environment. I therefore switched to organic farming - specifically choosing to follow the bio-dynamic principles laid out by Rudolf Steiner and passed on to me by Pierre Masson and Philippe Suardet. The wines I produce are named after my mentors in the agricultural, viticultural and winemaking worlds.