Domaine Aléofane, Saint-Joseph

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Natacha Chave, grew up among the vines around Hermitage. The daughter of vigneron Bernard Chave, Natacha originally took a path away from her family’s vocation, earning a masters degree in Philosophy of Language (her thesis was “Animal Metaphors Found in Nietzche”). But when her brother Yann took over the estate, Natacha suddenly missed the wine world and the connection to the land where she had grown up. She returned to school to study viticulture and started looking around for vineyard land. Today she owns one and a half hectares in Saint Joseph and 5ha in Crozes-Hermitage, mostly old vines (40+ years), though some she planted herself in 2007. Her vineyards are all managed biodynamically, work in the cellar is natural, with minimal intervention and no additions beyond SO2. The domaine is named for a fictional city in John Macmillan Brown’s utopian novel Riallaro.