Domaine Ratte, Michel-Henri & Francoise Ratte

France, Jura, Arbois



Early in 2016 I visited the tiny cramped cellars of Michel-Henri and Francoise Ratte.  They had been growing grapes following organic and biodynamic principles since acquiring some vines from Francoise's parents and purchasing other parcels in 1989.  Wines are certified Demeter.  They have 8 hectares of vines over parcels named Les Corvées, Grand-Curoulet, Besivette, Prélevront, La Regole, Clos Maire et La Bergère.  The Melon d'Arbois cuvée is from Grand Curoulet, a soil "Marnes à Gryphées" and the vines 60 years old.  Pinot Noir is 80 year old vines and 20 year old vines, all selection Massale of the Jura.  The Trousseau is the special "Trousseau à la Dame", rarely seen, having small, loosely-knit clusters.  The vines are grown on the Côteaux des Corvées, the best slope of Arbois for Trousseau, Marne du Lias, covered with eboulis calcaires.  The Savagnin is from Pré Levront, just below Corvées.  The vines are 20 years old, but a small part was planted by Francoise's great-grandfather over 100 years ago.  Le Rubis is a blend of Poulsard, Pinot and Trousseau, all coming from the Clos Maire parcel.  The Poulsard is the old Poulsard "musqués" variety.  All the vines here are at least 80 years old.  Superb Jura wines - each one a memorable experience.   And their son Quentin, who has just finished viticulture studies, is now joining them full-time. 


Technical Information

Wine Varietals Vine Age Soil Type Farming Type
Melon d'Arbois (blanc) Melon d'Arbois 60 years Marnes à Gryphées Biodynamic
Savagnin Ouillé Naturé Savagnin 20 and 100 years old Blue and gray marl Biodynamic
"Rubis" (Rouge) Poulsard, Pinot Noir, Trousseau 80 years Scree limestone and red marl Biodynamic
Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 80 and 20 years, selection massale Marl Biodynamic
Trousseau "À la Dame" Trousseau 80+ years Marne du Lias, covered with eboulis calcaires Biodynamic