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The Chave family is the epitome of People, Place and Time. They have been vignerons in the Rhône valley since 1481, passing the torch from father to son for an astonishing 16 generations. Originally the family farmed only in St. Joseph and moved to Hermitage about a century ago when phylloxera swept through the region. Today their Hermitage Rouge and Hermitage Blanc are generally regarded as the appellation's greatest wines. In recent years Jean Louis has begun the painstaking process of restoring the steep St. Joseph terraces that his family has farmed for centuries and has slowly begun to acquire and restore more of the steep plots that were abandoned in the wake of the pyhlloxera (today most of the AC's production comes from the valley bottom and not the steep well exposed hillsides). This is very compelling news for lovers of Rhône wines since historically St. Joseph has been the most underrated appellation in the Northern Rhône.

Having centuries of experience has resulted in simple and effective practices resulting in brilliant wines. There are no secrets here – exemplary farming, low yields, minimal new oak, minimal intervention and no filtering.

Jean Louis has also produces négociant wines under the JL Chave selection label from St. Joseph “Offerus”, Crozes Hermitage “SIlene”, Côtes-du-Rhône "Mon Coeur" and a more affordable Hermitage Rouge and Blanc. We have personally cellared several of these cuvees for more than 10 years. The wines are supremely age-worthy and are exceptional value!

Reviews for this winery

  • Wine Advocate

    "There can be no doubt that the son, Jean Louis and his papa, Gerard Chave - members of a family of growers that has been making Hermitage for six centuries - are among the planet's greatest winemakers."

    Robert Parker - The World's Greatest Wine Estates,

  • Decanter

    Stylistically, the Chave Hermitage reds these days are more generous than those of the 1970s and 1980s, which reflects the progress of our times in vineyard care and investment. However, a vertical tasting shows consistency through the decades, with a more liberated purity in the wines than the denser and overtly concentrated Hermitages of...its closest comparison.

    John Livingstone-Learmonth, June 2017

  • Decanter

    There has been much investment in recent years: a new vat and vinification cellar built in 2014, and extensions made to the maturation cellars. The new vats allow for softer cap punching, which ties in with the style of his red Hermitage. This is the jewel of the estate, thanks to the 15 hectares (half the domaine area) that club together to provide one of the world’s most notable wines.

    John Livingstone-Learmonth, June 2017