Cristelle and Rapheal are both Leo’s. Leonis means “lion” in Latin, and corresponds to the constellation of Leo. Leonis stands for Cristelle and Raphaël’s association and alliance of their skills.
The constellation is also very interesting because it is an ensemble of stars which defines a sign and Cristelle and Raphaël think it is a parallel with the different vineyards that are in different areas, which all together define the Leonis estate.
Two entities, one vision of wine, one estate: Leonis.
Raphaël & Cristelle Champier restructured their vineyards and purchased estate buildings in the commune of Villié-Morgon to live and craft their wines in. They represent two entities, but one vision of wine, one estate: Leonis.
When they bought the vines, they were farmed in sustainable agriculture. Leonis decided to convert the vines to organic as soon as they bought them.
Their association has brought together a selection of plots in three different appellations: Côte de Brouilly, Brouilly and Beaujolais Villages. Their vineyards are mainly made up of old vines planted in very distinctive terroirs.
The vineyard is on the Eastern slopes of the Beaujolais hills. The climate is a mild oceanic one, mostly continental with Mediterranean influences. The relief of the land enables them to select the best exposure for each vineyard combined with a variety of different terroirs producing high quality Gamay, typical to each terroir.
Hedges around the vineyards are very useful to bring back small animals in those woods. They can nest near the vineyards. Cristelle and Raphaël always like to see jackrabbits in the vineyards! Moreover, hedges limit the erosion of the soil due to the steep slope.
The Champier’s vine tending techniques are accredited organic. They work to develop the biodiversity of their vineyards, making protection of the environment pivotal to their approach. These methods preserve micro-organic diversity in the soil, allowing the roots to draw on far greater resources and giving depth to the wines’ aromas and flavors.
Wines are vinified allowing the natural expression of each terroir to shine through.
Each of their wines gets its individual personality from a combination of the specific land the vines grow in and the age of those vines. Maturing is in carefully selected old barrels and in vats.