He never tired of the panoramic view of Mont Blanc and the Choulex hills. “With a view like this, you always get up on the right foot and you’re in a good mood all day long,” admits Jean Rivollet, showing off some of the sunrise photos he’s taken with his mobile phone. Real paintings! The winemaker grew up at Domaine de Crève Cœur and, although he did not set out to work in the vineyards, opting instead to study agricultural engineering, he found himself in the front line following the death of his brother in the 1960s.

A heritage to preserve

“At first, I helped out on the farm and, as my father was not in good health, I soon had to decide to take over,” he recalls. Jean Rivollet has never regretted this decision, learning the trade on the job. “I’ve always felt privileged to live in this family home, a heritage that we’ve always tried to preserve, and to enjoy the sense of freedom that working outdoors can bring. When you’re in contact with nature, you develop a certain kind of wisdom, and you have no choice but to follow its rhythm of life.

Now retired, Jean Rivollet has decided to rent out the 60 hectares of arable land, but continues to farm his 9 hectares of vineyards. “I keep some of the grapes for the estate wines. All the rest I deliver to the Cave de Genève! Thirteen different grape varieties are grown on his hillside – to offer customers the widest possible range: traditional varieties such as Gamay, Chasselas, Pinot blanc and Gamaret, as well as a few specialities such as Mondeuse, black or white, Divico and Divona. “Mondeuse does well in our region. As for Divico and Divona, these are two new, more resistant varieties: we planted them in 2012 and 2020.

One of the founders of the Cave de Genève

The winegrower from Choulex is a loyal member of the Cave de Genève: he was one of its founders! “In 1929, my father was already behind the Cave de la Souche,” he explains. Then, in the 90s, the farmers’ circle was looking for an intermediary to sell our harvests and it seemed obvious to us that we would be stronger together to promote Geneva wine…” Today, Jean Rivollet believes that the organisation of the Cave de Genève – with a cooperative for production and a limited company for sales – is “a good formula”. But he would like to see even more shops and supermarkets promoting Geneva and Swiss wines…

At the dawn of the 21st century, the Choulés native decided to diversify his business and open the family home to visitors. During renovation work in 2003, he transformed the farmhouse and stables into a rural gîte. The old cellar is now a reception room for weddings and birthdays. “We also use our terrace in summer to organise tastings,” he adds. Jean Rivollet even took advantage of the project to install wood chip heating in the manure pit, which had been unused for a long time. Domaine du Crève Cœur is ready to face the challenges of tomorrow.


Les vins de ce vigneron

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