La Grand Ourse

Tulette, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône, France

Pascal Chalon

10ha. under vine
Organic viticulture

Coming from a long line of commercial winemakers, the young Pascal Chalon was uninterested in joining what he saw as a mechanised and homogenous industry. It wasn’t until family-friend Vincent Rochette (Domaine Roche-Audran) demonstrated to him that wine could be made simply and naturally, in a shed with just a few vats, a press and beautiful grapes, that Pascal was seized by the desire to make wine. His early vintages attracted praise (including from none other than Robert Parker), but Pascal felt that there was something missing in the balance of his wines. In 2004, after reading Nicolas Joly’s text on biodynamic viticulture, he began the process of converting the family vines firstly to organic farming (AB certified in 2008), and then to biodynamics (Demeter certified in 2010). He has since renounced Demeter-certification, instead relying on his own knowledge and experience to determine which vineyards require which treatments and preparations, and when to apply them. He has likewise declassified his wines from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC, so as not to restrict or limit his winemaking style.