winemaker : Damien Bastian
Grape varieties : Mainly chasselas, a little highness, gamay and pinot noir
Surface Winery: 3,9 ha
The Winery Damien Bastian
I came across a bottle of Damien Bastian at a sommelier friend of mine. It was a "Mon Blanc" 2018; I was touched by chasselas, yes chasselas! Paf, a beautiful slap! Everything I like: freshness, oxidative touches, roundness on the attack and tension on the finish... In short, it made me want to know more, and here we are on his land on a beautiful October morning in 2020. Between two confinements...
From horticulture to natural wine
Damien Bastian was born in Annemasse, and comes from the world of horticulture. He has many years of experience (even though he is only in his early forties) in vegetable growing and in developing complex vegetable systems in Chad. On his return, he worked in the restaurant business in Geneva and came into real contact with wine. There, he decided to work again with nature in general, and with natural wine in particular. He then worked for a well-known Savoyard winemaker , Dominique Lucas.
Then in 2017, he settled on 75 ares of chasselas vines in the Marignan appellation (Savoie) less than 1km from Lake Geneva. His Winery is called " Ça Boit Libre ", a play on words to speak of freedom but also of the independence of his region ("Savoie Libre"). Obviously, such a large surface area does not allow him to make a living from it and Damien therefore continues in 2018 and 2019 to work as a farmhand for Anne & Jean-François Ganevat, famous Jura winegrowers. Two years of going back and forth to work his vines in parallel and above all to enrich his experience in the elaboration of natural white wines.
Damien Bastian's vineyards
In 2020, Damien Bastian, the adopted grandson of a well-known agricultural engineer in the region, André Goddard (in 1973, he was one of those who launched the "Vin de Savoie" appellation), took over the vineyards of Jean-Marie Chappuis (Les Vins de Carra) who retired in 2019. The latter will be convinced by Damien's project and also by the fact that he is André Goddard's grandson... On 3.2 hectares, reds and whites are mixed together. For the whites, the Swiss Chasselas rubs shoulders with the typical Savoie Grape variety , the Altesse; and for the blacks, the Pinot rubs shoulders with the Gamay.
Damien Bastian's natural wines
Not far from there, he finds a place to live in a very old building (Winery de Marsaz), more than 200 years old, and located a few metres from the Swiss border, away from the town. A nice and parallel world. It is in this old wine cellar, abandoned since 1967, that Damien Bastian has just settled for his first harvest in 2020. Our charming and exciting tasting will allow us to taste the 2020s on chasselas, altesse, gamay (several parcels), pinot noir, the 2019s and some 2018s. We are very excited by all the wines without added sulphite tasted that day. There is strength, energy, tension, salinity.
We are delighted to make you discover this work on vintages 18 and 19! And what can we say about our impatience to discover the outcome of the maturing of these wines on 2020 that we have just discovered still in the maturing process.
Thank you Damien for your welcome and for this wonderful first allocation!