Gilles Berlioz has an unconventional background for a grower. He wanted to live a rural life and first tried cultivating flowers, then breeding vines, but couldn’t make a living, so instead worked as a builder. After losing two fingers in an accident he recovered in Chignin, and surrounded by his family's 0.8ha of vines, he decided to give winemaking a try.
Settling down in Chignin with his wife Christine in 1990, he gradually built up his holdings to 7ha of primarily rented vines whilst working as a landscaper. Increasingly unhappy with using chemicals in their vineyards and with the compaction caused by too much tractor use, Gilles and Christine embraced organic practices in the late 1990s, with certification following in 2002. It was at this point that Gilles became obsessed with making top-class wines and so reduced his holdings to a more manageable 4ha as well as moving towards biodynamic viticulture - all their vineyards are now worked either by horse or manually with a hoe.
Winemaking has evolved too, with Gilles cutting out all use of oak in 2006, and recently moving to fermentation and élevage on fine lees in horizontal fibreglass eggs. Sulphur use has decreased as well to current low levels of around 35mg/l total. A little like Cyril Fhal in Roussillon, Gilles looks after his vines as though they were flowers in his back garden, therefore during the spring/summer months he is helped by a team of five people!
In 2016 the Berlioz changed the name of the domaine to ‘Partagé’ meaning shared, reflecting the years of human encounters with workers, vignerons and customers, all of whom have helped the estate to progress to where it is today, one of the most iconic in Savoie. Nowadays Domaine Partagé shares a harvest team with Pascal Quenard, and sell small quantities of their grapes to young vignerons to give them a helping hand as they start.
It’s also worth mentioning that they have some of the most original and humorous labels in Savoie, with the Bergeron Les Filles and Fripons changing every year, often designed by artist friends, some have become collector's items.
La Deuse is a memory of times past when many wines’ alcohol levels were between 8-10 degrees. Persan adds a little tannic structure and intense red fruits to the typical mondeuse flavour and aromas of violets, black fruits and pepper. Very sappy, racy fruit, with a wonderful texture and real digestibility. An iconic and sought-after Savoie bottling.