This firm, founded in 1808, is the proprietor of 175 key acres of vines in five Rhone Valley appellations. Since the retirement of Max Chapoutier in 1989, his son Michel has revamped the winemaking process, and in doing so has elevated the stature of Chapoutier wines to rival some of the greatest in the region. The firm farms its vineyards biodynamically, and believes in the concept of monocepage, or the idea that each wine is produced entirely from a single grape variety. Chapoutier believes that blending mutes, rather than enhances, the character he seeks from his wines. Today the Chapoutier wines are considered benchmarks for the region, and other producers have begun to borrow the techniques and practices that Michel has been perfecting for nearly two decades. Perhaps Robert Parker, in his monumental book The World's Greatest Wine Estates, sums up the Chapoutier firm best: A true biodynamically run estate since 1989 the objective has been to produce the purest and most natural expressions of terroir possible. Every decision is based on enhancing the characteristics of a wine's terroir varietal character, and vintage trademark. In short, it is the earth that inspires this firm.