Jean-Etienne CHERMETTE

While promoting Pierre-Marie Chermette's wines, I express my own sensibility through my own range of wines, Jean-Etienne Chermette. I practice a winemaking process as natural as possible and respectful of the terroir to obtain wines with fruit and delicacy.

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The Expression of terroir

The village of Saint-Vérand has a granitic terroir similar to the Beaujolais crus unlike the southern Beaujolais region which is composed mainly of clay and limestone. This soil is exceptional and very unusual in our region. It is made up of plagiogranites similar to the blue stones of the Cote de Py; Morgon and also present in Norway. This terroir is very uniformly distributed throughout the village. It gives my Gamay and Viognier a nice structure and also allows them to age over time.

Granite is the great Gamay terroirs trademark; hence the turn of phrase: “the old Gamay on granite taste like pinot”.

My Pinot Noirs are planted on clay-limestone soil, a favourite soil for Pinot Noir as in Burgundy.

The terroirs are adapted to the grape varieties and allow us to obtain pure, rooted wines with fruit, delicacy and richness.

Jean-Etienne CHERMETTE
Jean-Etienne CHERMETTE
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A meticulous and respectful work

Jean-Etienne CHERMETTE

Regarding the work in the vineyards, I have opted for organic farming in order to preserve the ecosystem, ensure the sustainability of the vineyard for future generations and let the terroir fully grow. The estate is certified HVE3 (High Environmental Value level 3) by the Ministry of Agriculture.

A meticulous work in the vineyards guarantees quality grapes with the following prophylactic measures.
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Pruning Fall & Winter.

I practice a short goblet, Guyot or Royat cordon pruning. This type of pruning as well as green work limits the yields and allows a good aeration and sunshine of the vines in the vineyard. In this way I obtain a homogeneous and optimal ripeness of the grapes.
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Tillage Spring

We work the soil mechanically to eliminate the grass on the majority of our vines and avoid the use of chemical weed killers.
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Grassing Spring

Natural grassing in the middle of the row to limit yields and improve the soil's microbial life. The grassed area is mowed regularly.
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Replantation Spring

Replacement of dead vine stocks with young plants.
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Dabbing and budding Spring

“Pamprage” is the removal of vine branch (young shoots at the base of the vine). These young shoots, close to the ground, are the most likely to attract diseases.

Budding is the removal of double buds on the vine rod to limit yields and to space out growing on the vine.
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Tying-up Spring

Grouping and tying of vine branches inside the wires in spring and summer.
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Cimage and topping Summer

Cimage is the cutting of the stem apex, the end of the shoot responsible for the growth of the plant, located at the top of the branches. This operation stops the branches from growing and stops the nutrients from being put into the bunches.

Tropping is the cutting of the branches at the top and on the sides of the vine. I only do one topping per year in order to limit the stress on the vines.
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The harvest Summer

The grapes are harvested entirely by hand, then sorted in the vineyard and then in the cellar on a sorting table to keep only the healthy and mature grapes.
Jean-Etienne CHERMETTE
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My wine making secrets

An adapted wine-making process for each variety.
Jean-Etienne CHERMETTE

Gamay noir whith white juice

I make wine using the traditional Beaujolais method (semi-carbonic wine-making in whole bunches) which gives Gamay its fruity aroma with supple tannins.
The whole, unclustered grapes are vatted; the vat is then saturated with carbon dioxide and closed. After two days of maceration, I pump the wine over for 10 minutes each morning and evening. The juice from the bottom of the vat is pumped out and transferred to the top of the vat.

Maceration time in the vat varies from 5 days for the Beaujolais and 9 days for the Crus. When the alcoholic fermentation is finished, the grapes are pressed in a pneumatic press.

The resulting juice is leavened in vats, barrels or tuns depending on the wine where it finishes the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations to become wine. This wine-making style in whole bunches with pumping over and these types of leavening give structure, colour and fruit to the wines with silky tannins. Thanks to these methods and our great granite terroirs, the wines have the potential to improve over time.
Jean-Etienne CHERMETTE

Pinot Noir

Two-thirds whole grape harvest and one-third grape harvest. Maceration in concrete vats varies between 8 and 9 days. The juice is pumped over for 10 minutes each morning and evening. At the end of the maceration, one pigeage per day is carried out for 2 to 3 days to extract more colour and structure.

In my opinion, it is important that the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations take place in oak barrels (15% of the volume) so that the wine's structure benefits from the tannins in the wood. 85% of the volume is in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fruit and supple tannins of the Pinot Noir. The wine is aged for 6 months.

These methods allow me to practice a moderate extraction to obtain a Pinot with delicacy and suppleness.
Jean-Etienne CHERMETTE


I press the whole bunches directly and pump the juice into the stainless steel vats. Then, I de-stem the juice (elimination of the fat contained in the lees) by cold for 48 hours at 10°C. Then I extract the clear juice, keeping the fine lees, and the alcoholic fermentation starts.
To obtain a very qualitative Viognier with fresh and fruity aromas, the alcoholic fermentation must be slow for 3 weeks and at a low temperature of 16-17°C.

The alcoholic and malolactic fermentation and ageing are carried out in acacia barrels for 15% of the volume. The acacia wood brings richness, roundness and exotic fruit and citrus aromas to the Viognier. 85% of the volume is fermented in vats to keep the freshness and fruit. The wine is aged for 6 months.

The winemaking is as natural as possible:
  • I do not practice chaptalization.
  • I only use the indigenous yeasts present on the grapes of each terroir which guarantee the wines their typicity and character without the addition of chemical inputs with the aim of making wines as natural as possible.
  • I do not use any chemical additives.