We meet up with Lionel Thevenoz on the family estate in the heart of the village of Soral. Its five and a half hectares of vines are located in the communes of Soral and Laconnex, but also a little further afield in Viry and Saint-Julien. Among the many grape varieties grown by Lionel are Chasselas, Gamay, Chardonnay, Gamaret, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. If you take a look around, you’ll see that our winegrower’s estate also includes arable land.

“I’m passionate about mechanics!”

Lionel’s first love was mechanics, and it was in fact his first training course. So it’s only natural that he loves maintaining his farm machinery. Of his job, he adds that he particularly appreciates the chance to be outdoors, to be his own boss and to observe what’s going on in the woods, in nature, at every moment. When we ask him about his free time, we can see that our winegrower is someone who is committed to his commune and who likes to get things done: he has served two terms on the Communal Council and, as lieutenant in the commune’s fire brigade, he spent a year as acting commander. That’s all there is to it!

Unlike many of his colleagues, Lionel doesn’t really have a favourite season: he loves them all! However, he admits that, unsurprisingly, spring is definitely the most stressful time of the year.

“Mutual support between colleagues is essential.”

When he talks about his business, Lionel is keen to emphasise the spirit of solidarity that reigns between the winegrowers. Getting on well together and helping each other are essential values for him. He adds that to be a good winegrower, you have to be organised and keep moving forward, but above all you have to have foresight and be attentive to the weather conditions in particular.

Lionel began his career working in the automotive industry for over twenty years. At first, he divided his time between the company and the family estate, before finally taking over from his father Georges, who had also been a winemaker at La Cave de Genève since the very beginning.

Memories, memories…

Looking back on his childhood memories, Lionel recalls with pleasure the times when the whole village came to help them when they had to dig up and replant a vineyard by hand. There were people, there was life!

As for his taste in wine, he confides that he loves a good glass of Merlot to accompany a fine piece of meat. Lionel isn’t really a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, but since he tasted the one from La Cave, he has to say that his opinion has changed!


Les vins de ce vigneron

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