Dominique LUCAS

Savoie, France

Although Jacquère, Altesse (Roussette), and Roussanne have long been the backbones to Savoie’s white wine fame, Dominique Lucas has chosen a different direction – to emphasize Chasselas grown in the region’s mosaic of unique soils. Originally from Burgundy, fifth-generation Dominique uprooted his life and moved to nearby Savoie in 2008, mostly due to his frustration surrounding Burgundy’s large dependence on conventional farming, as well as the strict constraints implemented by the regional AOCs. He ultimately settled in Ballaison, with the majority of his vines planted on the slopes surrounding Lake Geneva.

Similar to Charles Lachaux, Dominique finds himself in the Lalou Bize-Leroy school, in that he believes in letting his vines grow wild and free. His vines are divided by soil type, which range from yellow marl to granite to silex and beyond. In total, Dominique harvests 27 different parcels and vinifies each one separately. All farming is done organically and biodynamically. While Chasselas remains his focus, small amounts of Chardonnay, Savagnin, Gamay, Pinot Noir, and other varieties are also planted amongst his 10 hectares of vines.

In the cellar, Dominique prefers to use a variety of amphorae, concrete eggs, and large-format barrels. Post-harvest, all fruit is direct pressed at low pressure for about 3.5 hours. All fermentations are executed with native yeasts and only a small amount of sulfur is used at bottling. The resulting wines are tense, lively, and simply exhilarating – to say that these are some of the most exciting bottles coming out of Savoie would be anything but an understatement.