Domaines Rouvinez - Sierre

This report looks at Domaines Rouvinez, ideally situated on the Colline de Géronde in Sierre, in the company of Philippe Rouvinez, the worthy representative of the third generation of these domains, and in particular at his “pick of the crop”: the Petite Arvine Château Lichten.

Today, Domaines Rouvinez owns 86 hectares, making it self-sufficient for its entire sales of bottled wines.

When talking about the 2015 vintage, Philippe quite simply says that it was exceptional, because of the ideal weather conditions in Valais that year. Good rainfall at the end of winter and in the spring, coupled with a particularly dry summer and autumn, ensured that the vines received just the right amount of water, something that is relatively rare in Valais. In fact, our region’s dryness and the lack of hydration for the vines are the cause of a certain amount of water stress, which, in some cases, can result in difficulties in the vinification of some grape varieties. To avoid these difficulties, Domaines Rouvinez has now installed a “drop-by-drop” watering system to prevent problems with water stress and reduce wastage. Very fortunately, thanks to the weather in 2015, there was very little need to use the system that year.

As his “pick of the crop”, Philippe cites the Petite Arvine wine from Château Lichten. A truly native Valais grape variety, Petite Arvine is cultivated almost exclusively in this region. It can also be found in the Aosta Valley in Italy, but only in minute quantities.

Petite Arvine is a delicate, unpredictable grape variety, but loves the Valais climate: hot and dry in summer, with some beautiful, sunny days in autumn. While some grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Chasselas or Pinot ripen early, Petite Arvine takes its time to mature.

The product of old vines planted at the start of the 1990s, in a sandy, mineral soil, this Petite Arvine 2015 is a pale yellow with gentle green reflections. It recalls the colour of the grape berries while diffusing aromas of lime, pink grapefruit and rhubarb. Its marked, but by no means aggressive acidity gives it a lively freshness.

With its fruity flavours, exquisitely balanced with its slightly salty aftertaste and the persistent length of its aromas, this Petite Arvine 2015 is the perfect match for oysters, shellfish, fish or poultry in cream sauces.

This wine is available now at Domaines Rouvinez in Sierre at the price of CHF 24.50 a bottle.

Philippe talks about his company’s history with stars in his eyes. Domaines Rouvinez is the epitome of a family business, notable for its continuity. Indeed, Philippe represents the third generation to dedicate its efforts to the company’s growth. Thanks to their successive experiences, his grandfather first, and then his father, developed a certain quality-driven vision of wine production. To this end, Domaines Rouvinez has acquired new vineyard plots (such as Château Lichten, Crêta-plan, Montibeux and Ardévaz) over the years in order to manage and control the quality of each individual grape.