The Tissot domaine is dedicated to terroir and biodynamic farming. On their Jura soils, varying from limestone to lias and trias clay, each Savoyard variety expresses itself differently, and it's Stéphane's mission to harness this essence. Ever-experimental, the Tissot Crémant 'Indigène' has set a new bar for Crémant de Jura, and their range has progressed to encompass amphorae-aged wines, sans soufre cuvées, and individual terroir-focused vin jaunes.
“If you own and farm your vines, the wine becomes an image of your own personality. You make your own wine, with your own feelings, and your own love.”
People: Bénédicte & Stéphane Tissot
Place: Jura, France
Varieties: Chardonnay, Chardonnay Rose (A pink mutation of Chardonnay), Savagnin, Poulsard, Trousseau, Pinot Noir
Farming: Biodynamic (certified by Demeter)
Did You Know? In the Jura, during the Triassic period; 200 million years ago and earlier; soils were dry and continental. These are known as "Trias" soils. Then, Pangaea flooded, which brought a period of time when the soils went from from dry and muddy, to entirely beach-like. The soils that were produced between these time periods are nicknamed “Lias” soils. They do not represent a true geologic time period, but rather fill in the gap from the Triassic ("Trias”) soils to the Jurassic soils, the latter of which brought us the famous limestone found in parts of this region and across Burgundy.
Since 1991, Stéphane has only fermented the wines with indigenous yeasts. This became easier when they switched to organic viticulture. He explains,
“You need to protect the grapes and to not put products on them, to make sure your yeast population is big enough. Many chemical products in a sense sterilise the grapes, which means your fermentation will be complicated as there aren’t enough yeasts on the grapes.”
He also works a lot with the lees - the solid part of the wine - little particles of yeasts, grape skins, pips etc. This brings complexity to the wine and helps him to work reductively. Organic viticulture is also important for this, he muses:
“If you put chemicals on your grapes, then you’ll have chemicals in the lees, which means you can't use them. If you work organically, then it’s not a problem to keep lots of your lees.”
Crémant de Jura is produced in the same way as Champagne; meaning usually it requires the addition of laboratory-cultured yeast and cane sugar. Stéphane wanted to see if he could find a way that didn’t involve these external additions:
“I really wanted to minimise any additions from “outside,” so I thought for many years about a way to create crémant using only juice and yeasts from our estate. I figured out a way to do this, by using grape juice and fermenting vin de paille - so no sugar additions, and only...
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