Son of a winemaker and child of Valeyres-sous-Rances, Frédéric is a man of the field. He has always been passionate about the profession, has a master’s degree in viticulture and is a graduate of the Changins School of Viticulture/Oenology. Married to Johanna, who is also involved in the business, they have two children. Frédéric is independent and is an important partner at Château de Valeyres. He signs with Benjamin Morel several vintages of which the Confidentials range and the new agronomic approach baptized “Germination”.
Grandson of Alphonse and son of Marc-Antoine Morel, Benjamin represents the third generation at Château de Valeyres. He has a degree in viticulture/oenology from the Changins College and a federal diploma. He has gained experience in Switzerland and abroad. Benjamin took over the family estate in 2004. Married to Anne, who supports him in his work, they are the parents of two daughters. Benjamin is a cellar man with a passion for oenology and is very committed to the development of the Côtes de l’Orbe terroir.
Third generation at the Château de Valeyres, Benjamin Morel, trained in viticulture and oenology, respects the heritage of his forefathers. He travelled around the wine world for a few years before returning to the estate in 2004 and taking over the business. He made radical choices in order to develop the quality of the wines, to make the most of the terroir of the Côtes de l’Orbe and to sell in bottles to private customers and restaurateurs.
The “Confidentiel” range was born in close collaboration with Frédéric Hostettler, master winegrower and childhood friend of Benjamin. The idea is to cultivate and produce wines jointly, in association of several skills, in order to increase their complexity while respecting the working tool and its environment.
At the same time, and for several years now, three other winemakers from the village and neighboring villages have been working closely with Benjamin. Together, they strive to produce the finest grapes, thus contributing to the reputation of the estate’s wines and that of the Côtes de l’Orbe.
The profession of winegrower is a profession in constant motion. For hundreds of years it has faced many difficulties and has overcome them with fatality, determination and imagination. The challenge today is to work in a respectful and sustainable way in order to guarantee a quality vineyard for future generations.
We have to face the different diseases of the vine (mainly oidium and mildiou). Whether we work in reasoned, organic or biodynamic culture, we have no other choice than to protect the vines with phytosanitary products. We are the first ones concerned, because we are the applicators. Very conscious of the risks, we assume our ecological and economic responsibilities within our exploitation.
From this observation and in order to explore a more efficient viticulture, we have been testing for a few years, a very interesting agronomic model. We have planted new grape varieties obtained by floral crosses between different vine species called “interspecific” grape varieties. In contrast, our familiar Pinot noir or Chasselas grape varieties are called “intraspecific” grape varieties.
These new varieties named Sauvignac, Divico or Muscaris present exceptional agronomic assets. They have obtained from their parents an almost total resistance to the main vine diseases.
The wines resulting from these selections are now in bottle and are presented to you under our new range baptized “Germination“. Wines globally more rustic and more aromatic, viticulture of future or curiosity, time will tell us…
Around 1820, the southern facade of the castle was transformed from top to bottom. The new structure was inspired by the neoclassical style in vogue in Geneva, where the von Bonstetten family lived year-round. A large loggia and colonnades give the old Bernese house an Italian air. The interior of the house was renovated at the same time. This led to the creation of a magnificent oval salon and a large hall.
After Charles-Victor, the second great man of the family was Gustave Charles, son of Charles-David. An eminent archaeologist, he led numerous excavations in French-speaking Switzerland. His flair allowed him to unearth the splendid Roman mosaics of Orbe. Surprisingly, when he discovered these ancient works, he failed to uncover the astonishing frescoes that cover his castle!
In 2004, Marc-Antoine Morel passes the property to his sons, Abram, Romain and Benjamin and then begin heavy renovation work on the castle.
The first, Charles-Victor von Bonstetten (1745-1832), held the office of bailiff of Nyon from 1787 until 1793. Influenced by the philosophy of the Enlightenment, he attracted the sympathy of his subjects, and at the same time the disapproval of the Bernese hierarchy. Charles-Victor von Bonstetten was celebrated by the Waldensians as a true patriarch, but he returned to Geneva after 1805. Charles Hilty, liberal historian of the Helvetic Republic, named him “best bailiff” of the old Republic, because he often opposed the regime of the Ancients. After the independence of Vaud, he lived for a period in Denmark, but he did not abandon his property, such as the Château de Valeyres, which was still occupied by his wife and son. The latter, named Charles-David, made major changes to the property. He tore out the vineyards adjacent to the house to replace them with a romantic garden. This park, inspired by the “New Heloise”, includes several ponds connected by streams, an orange grove, yew groves and a thatched cottage. Today everything has disappeared except for a lime tree, which houses the last residence of Charles-Victor’s wife.
“The Carnotzet” is a friendly place ready to welcome you for a tasting or an aperitif in good company. Open Saturday morning and by appointment during the week. Choice of wines for a birthday, event or simply to complete your cellar, do not hesitate to come and visit us
By appointment on weekdays
Tel. +41 079 658 26 14.
8am to 12.30pm
Closed on Sunday
The cellar is open for sale and tasting every Saturday morning from 8am to 12.30pm.
(Reservations should be made on 079 658 26 14 or at email@example.com).
You can also pick up your order during the week by announcing yourself beforehand.