LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Domaine Croix Duplex 6 May became the 25th member of the Clos, Domaines & Châteaux group of wineries in canton Vaud.
The family winery midway up the slopes of Epesses above Grandvaux has been headed since 2012 by Simon and Maude Vogel, a brother-sister team who took over from their parents, Jean and Marlyse.
The view is spectacular and the wines we sampled Tuesday at a reception they held to mark the event show a winery very much on top of its products. A bonus is the sheer energy and enthusiasm for winemaking shown by the young pair who are in charge. “Our father is our best underpaid employee,” grinned Simon when I asked if Vogel senior is still involved in the business; he was busy showing wines to customers, it turns out.
10 years for Vaud’s chateau wineries
The Clos, Domaines & Chateaux (CD&C) group will celebrate its 10th anniversary later this month but the relative youth of the organization belies the history of its members.
It began with some 20 of the 42 chateaus that canton Vaud boasts, built in what were at the time strategic locations that today translate into magnificent old homes with beautiful views. Vines were always part of these domains and they were often the sites of some of the finest wine-making in the region. The owners/wine producers of half of these chateaus banded together in 2004 to create a charter for their wines and a quality label to ensure their wines are worthy of their history and long reputation.
Simon Vogel said Tuesday to the winery’s guests at the reception that he and his sister had decided to take the bold step to apply to CD&C, uncertain if they would be accepted by the group – Croix Duplex was created in 1929 by their grandfather Samuel, a hydraulic engineer from Zurich who moved to the region and bought land to build a house in 1929, adding a cellar for the wines he loved.
Charter and quality label
The building and the winery are young compared to many domains in the group, but CD&C President André Fuchs pointed out that the winery meets the group’s stringent standards and charter.
The members must have a domain with an exceptional setting and it didn’t take much convincing for the guests looking out over Lake Geneva Tuesday that Croix Duplex sits in a magical spot in the heart of the Lavaux vineyards. Quality control is crucial and Simon Vogel has already been awarded the Terravin quality label for Vaud wines, for several of his wines.
The CD&C group is bound by its charter, which calls for strict yield controls and specific environmental approaches in the vineyard and in the cellar. Regular quality control and charter-respect visits are made throughout the year by a technical team that ensures the standards are maintained. The wines must also be authentic in the sense that they reflect the rich history of the grounds where these grapes are grown and the typicity of the terroirs, chosen long ago as ideal locations for good wine.
The 900,000 bottles of wine that have been produced to date under the charter bear a red and silver collar, the group’s quality label (see also: “Collars, bowties, bottle necks and quality labels”).
The wines at Croix Duplex
Prices at the winery range from CHF10 to 19 for the 14 whites, of which 9 are Chasselas, and CHF12.70 to 25.90 for the reds. Pinot Noir is the family’s second specialty and they have 5, plus Garanoir, Gamaret, Diolinoir and Syrah, all made as varietals (single grape wines), and a red blend.
The family has 30 hectares of vines, about three-quarters of which is Chasselas.