We went to meet Reynald Parmelin, winegrower and producer of biodynamic wines from the Domaine La Capitaine in the canton of Vaud. Discover the history of the Domaine and the wines awarded 5 times”Best Organic Swiss Wine” at the Grand Prix du Vin Suisse.
What is biodynamic wine?
A biodynamic wine is produced according to the principles of biodynamic agriculture. Biodynamics considers that the soil, the plant and the earth are an ecosystem, whose balance must be ensured. Biodynamic wine production generally aims to rehabilitate, energize and intensify organic life in the environment where the vine grows, in order to strengthen the vitality and resistance of plants by improving natural exchanges between the soil and roots, air and leaves,… to optimize the expression of the terroir in the grapes and therefore in the wine.
The history of Domaine La Capitaine
- 1990: Reynald Parmelin takes over half of the family winery. In twenty-five years, the three hectares he received were transformed into a farm of more than twenty hectares.
- As early as 1994: he who divided his time between his work as a winegrower and a teacher decided to turn to organic farming. It thus became the first certified Domaine in the canton of Vaud.
- 2010: a new stage is reached since the cellar, which operates according to the precepts of biodynamics, has obtained the Demeter label.
The Domaine La Capitaine has more than 24 different grape varieties, including original varieties (Chasselas, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Chardonnay), varieties brought back from his travels (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Gewurztraminer) and other agricultural research (Gamaret, Garanoir, Johaniter, Dakapo). This diversity allows him to offer a wide choice of white, rosé or red wines each one is very different from the other one.
Reynald Parmelin, winegrower and producer
Reynald Parmelin, who comes from eight generations of winegrowers from Vaud, is driven by his passion for quality and is committed to offering a great diversity of wines.
- 1990: After having travelled the world and discovered different wine-making techniques, Reynald Parmelin returned to Switzerland to take over part of the family domaine.
- 1994: He let his brother take the reins of the wine-growing holding in order to devote himself to the Domaine La Capitaine, whose vineyard bears the same name, originally from a Napoleon captain who settled there at the beginning of the 19th century.
Respectful of his terroir, he puts into practice the organic cultivation methods he developed when he was a professor at the Ecole d’ingénieurs de Changins. He favours the use of natural products such as clay and certain plant extracts (fennel oil, algae, horsetail).
Reynald Parmelin mad an original choice, he decided to pack all his wines in blue bottles, which allows them to be identified at first glance.
Reynald Parmelin has won 5 times the title of “best organic Swiss wine” at the Grand Prix du Vin Suisse:
- 2009, 2010, 2011: with his Johanniter, a grape variety resistant to disease.
- 2016: with his Pinot Noir Vieilles Vignes.
- 2017: with his Late Vengeance (Pinot Gris).