All our Yesterdays 1850-1995

1850

Creation of the Tissot farm and the first wine cellar.

1895-1902

Louis Tissot is Mayor of Chignin.

1900

Louis and his son Laurent Tissot replant the first vines following the phylloxera epidemic.

1906

Birth of Marius Tissot, grandson of Louis, who will go on to develop the farm’s activity, and marry Gabrielle, our grandmother.

1963

Our mother, Monique, takes over the farm, and marries Alexis Berthollier.

1970

Alexis is instrumental in creating the appellation AOC Vin de Savoie … Our parents convert the farm from polyculture to the monoculture of the vine !

1995 et 1998

The two of us, Denis, and then Didier, take over responsibility for the estate …

1850 – 1960 … Early days

Great, great grandfather(s)

 

Photo_grands-parents_Gabrielle_Marius_193xIn Chignin – We only knew our grandfather, Marius TISSOT, who was born in 1906. But it was his grandfather, Louis TISSOT, who first established the estate and built the original farm buildings in around 1850. He was later joined by his son Laurent, the father of Marius. At that time they cultivated just a few parcels of vines for their own personal consumption, selling what remained in productive years to the bistros of Chambery. After the phylloxera epidemic at the beginning of the 20th century Laurent replanted a few acres of vines that we still tend today.
In 1960, our grandparents Marius and Gabrielle still practiced polyculture on the farm, with a few animals and some crops including a little under two hectares of vines.

 

chariotvictorOn the other side of the valley, in Apremont – Our paternal grandfather, Victor Berthollier (on the right of the photo, wearing a beret), was one of the first in the region to bottle his own wine, in around 1950, at a time when wine was traditionally sold in barrels or in bulk.

 

 

1960 – 1995 … Recent history

Monique Tissot, our mother,

1963 – It was then Monique, our mother, who took over the farm. She married Victor Berthollier’s son Alexis, who left the land of his father to cross the valley and join his wife.

The beginning of a new era,

In 1970, our parents abandoned polyculture to devote themselves entirely to their vines. Alexis and a few other local winegrowers founded the appellation AOC Vin de Savoie and gave new impetus to the Montmélian Cooperative of Fine Wines.

But what a change !

The use of machines became more and more widespread, and synthetic chemical products commonplace. The work had to be simplified, man hours reduced, and ever larger surfaces cultivated. The ‘farm’ became an agricultural ‘business’, passing from 2 hectares to 12 hectares of vines in just a few years. For 25 years the major factor in ensuring economic stability was the volume of grapes. The quasi-totality of the wine was sold via the cooperative. Quality, although not totally disregarded, was not really a priority …

And then it was our turn !

In 1995, Denis had finished his studies and took over the running of the estate…   And after almost twelve years in another profession Didier returned to the vineyard in 1998. We very quickly understood that intensive farming model would lead to disaster, and that was not the way in which we wanted to work …