Cellier de la Baraterie is the domain of Julien Viana, a talented young farmer and winemaker from the heart of the Savoie wine region. In 2014, he took over for Serge Bouchez, a well-established winemaker in the village of Cruet, where Julien grew up.
Julien is not from a winemaking family, and Bouchez had no children or relatives to continue his domain after his retirement, and so at just twenty years old, after finishing his winemaking studies in Beaujolais, he returned to Savoie and began with a one-hectare vineyard.
Today, Julien cultivates ten hectares on the Combe de Savoie not just in Cruet, but also in the villages of St. Jean de la Porte and Arbin. Five hectares are dedicated to his wines, and five are cultivated for other winemakers, all organic. His production covers the classic grapes and appellations of the region: Jacquère, Altesse and Malvoisie for the white wines, with Mondeuse and Gamay for the reds.
A farmer first and foremost, Julien is strongly committed to a natural, sustainable and organic approach to agriculture. This philosophy guides the work in the cellar, where it is all about the fruit. Indigenous yeast, natural fermentation and neutral aging in stainless steel tanks, occasional used oak barrels for some of the white wines, and a very minimal sulfite dosages at the bottling stage result in clean and stable wines that deeply express the grapes and their terroir in their aromas and in the mouth.
After his initial winemaking studies, Julien also studied biodynamic farming during a bachelor of science with the university of Montpellier. While not certified biodynamic, nor using the full panel of biodynamic techniques, he uses many of the preparations and is considering more, joining a small group of other engaged winemakers in the region. Almost all his vineyards are certified organic, with the rest in conversion.
In the future, Julien’s project will go beyond the “classics” of the region. New parcels of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon will join Roussanne in the valley, which is unusual for Savoie, but which Julien feels will be a good fit for the soils there. We can’t wait to taste!
One of the many traditional white grapes from Savoie, the Malvoisie is a very aromatic white wine which also express minerality and a clean taste. The soil of that vineyard is black marl. The wine is the result of a natural fermentation, only with native yeast from the fruit. Vinification occurs in stainless steel. No sulfites used during vinification, only native yeast, and a tiny dose of sulfite at bottling. The wine is classified Vin de Savoie AOP.
The “Montassoulaz” is the first parcel Julien showed me. A beautiful vineyard with extraordinary bio-diversity, may be due to the proximity of a spring emerging from the two mountains forming above the place. It is fully planted with the Gamay grape. Julien makes here a beautiful Gamay, all on the fruit, as always with his wines. The soil is clay and limestone. The wine is the result of a 15 days maceration and fermentation with the whole cluster. Neutral aging in stainless steel tanks. The wine is classified Vin de Savoie AOP.
The first of Julien’s Mondeuse, this glorious grape of Savoie that is finally getting recognized as a grape leading to great wines. The south-east exposed slopes of the village of Arbin are steep. The soils are much more rocky, made of Limestone scree and a clay structure. The vinification is done on native yeast, full cluster and aging in stainless steel. This results in a wine expressing fully the fruit and the terroir; a strong character, expressing red fruits, smokiness and licorice without never being heavy. The wine is classified Vin de Savoie AOP.
Mondeuse de St Jean de la Porte
The second Mondeuse is coming from the neighborly village of St-Jean de la Porte. The vinification is totally similar to the one for the other red wines of Julien. Full cluster, native yeast, natural fermentation and neutral aging in stainless steel. But as the terroir is different – here the soil is limestone and clay – the resulting wine is very different. Definitely on the fruit, but much more easy and soft expressing nice notes of spices and very soft and melted tannins. The wine is classified Vin de Savoie AOP.
Brut Nature – Blanc de Tradition
Blanc de Tradition is a dry natural sparkling wine following the “méthode traditionnelle”, the method used for champagne’s wines. It is made from the Jacquère grape, cultivated in the village of Cruet. Farming and vinification are organic and exclude the use of pesticides, additives, or industrial techniques. There is no “dosage,” allowing the wine to fully express the fruit while maintaining its dryness.
Julien Viana also produces two other white wines, a Jacquère and a Roussette de Savoie as well as a red blend call Paroxysme. Other wines are in the making for the coming years.