Brothers Pierre and Jean Hutin - influential figures in Geneva’s ‘viticultural revolution’ of the nineteen-eighties, used their vision and commitment - along with that of like-minded colleagues in the canton - to help shape the variety-enriched, diverse wine landscape we see today. Convinced that high quality could be achieved only by limiting yields, and driven to explore the potential of their terroir by planting previously untried varieties, the brothers’ innovative approach to cultivation and vinification led to the development of a more commercial, quality-focussed industry.
For the past decade however, with Pierre having retired, the team at Domaine Les Hutins in Geneva’s famous Le Mandement sub-region, has been led by Jean’s daughter - Émilienne Hutin Zumbach, who is both fortunate and proud to still be able to call on her father’s vast knowledge and expertise. The fifth generation of the Hutin family to take the helm at this estate, Émilienne’s ‘wine route’ has been somewhat less direct than that of her father and uncle. Deciding only to follow in the family tradition after raising her children on the estate and having gained both a degree in oenology and a viticulture diploma, she brings an innovative, forward-thinking approach which is perfectly complimented by her father’s experience.
The Hutin vineyard - nineteen hectares with favourable aspect and excellent growing conditions - allows for a wide range of grapes to be planted. Chasselas, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier rank amongst the white varieties whilst Gamay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah and the hybrids Gamaret and Garanoir make up the reds.
The estate produces single-source varietal wines from many of its grapes as well as a number of acclaimed blends. Amongst these, L’Esprit de Genève (The Spirit of Geneva) is a premium red blend developed by no fewer than nineteen local winemakers in response to the call for an emblematic cantonal speciality. Its varieties are carefully chosen to reflect the characteristics of Geneva and its vignerons - diversity, environmental awareness, collective responsibility, innovation and above all, quality - attributes that continue to grow the reputation of the canton as a wine region on both the national and international stage. Personalised by individual winemakers and rigorously tested by representatives before it goes to market, L’Esprit de Genève is a truly elegant composition - fresh and fruity with a smooth, harmonic structure and a hint of spice.
But perhaps the most prestigious of Domaine Les Hutins’ offerings is ‘L’Integrale’ - a range of three superior varietals introduced in 2007 with Pinot Noir (2005 vintage) and followed two years later by Merlot and Syrah. Each is vinified according to the same strict process, aged in barrels and limited to one thousand bottles per variety. With a seemingly perfect name, this range reflects the qualities of the domaine and the ‘completeness’ which comes from the commitment and creativity of its constituent parts. With Jean’s knowledge and experience, Émilienne’s innovation and verve, and the next generation paying more than a casual interest in the family business, Domaine Les Hutins looks set to play a starring role in the future of the Swiss wine industry.