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Chateau des Rontets

In the vineyard at Chateau des Rontets by Spencer Tunick

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On October 3, 2009, the photographer Spencer Tunick photographed 700 people in the vineyards at Chateau des Rontets.  Organized by Greenpeace to convey the fragility of the vineyard, the photo-shoot also aimed to expose with the fragility of humankind (alongside the absence of ego!), due to the effects of global warming.  Known for his stagings of live nude figures in public spaces, Tunick has organized over 75 such site-specific instillations since 1994.  In 2005, Fabio Monstrasi, of Chateau des Rontets, participated in one of Spencer’s projects that was staged in Lyon, but unfortunately, we haven’t any identifying images of that!

Fabio Montrasi & Claire Gazeau

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When not posing in the buff for Spencer Tunick, Fabio makes wine at Chateau des Rontets.  Born in Milano, where he met his wife Claire Gazeau, Fabio worked as an architect with Claire, before the couple decided to exchange their city lives for a farmer’s existence.  And since Chateau des Rontets has been owned by the Gazeau-Varambon family since 1850, the couple opted to return to Clair’s home in Burgundy, where they began to work the vineyards, slowly returning the soil to its natural state.

Located on the top of a hill, overlooking the village of Fuisse, all of the Chateau des Rontets’ Pouilly Fuisse vines except for one plot, Pierrefolle, surround the modest Chateau in a Clos.  Down the hill from this 15-acre Clos Varambon, where the vines were planted between 1945 and 2000, sits an incredible 1.22 acre site of 40-year old Gamay vines in the village of Saint-Amour.

The vines at Rontets are certified organic and biodynamically farmed with extremely low yields.  Fermentation is carried out in 6-8 year old barrels without pigeage or remontage. Traditional full carbonic maceration is carried out with wild yeasts, and the wine matures in oak barrels and vats on fine lees.  Bottled with minimal sulfur additions, the wine sees no fining or filteration.

Of the Chateau des Rontets Saint Amour 2010, only 500 bottles were produced.

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