2021 Smith-Chapel Juliénas 'Vayolette', Beaujolais, France

Pretty and perfumed, with a sultry plum, sapid raspberry, soft sarsaparilla, and pomegranate. Acidity is brisk thanks to the semi-carbo, and tannins are soft, with a slight tug at the sides. This finishes with a fresh, stony astringency and great length.



The vines are between 40-65 years, planted goblets on a mix of granite and pierres bleues (dark blue schist). Semi-carbonic and native ferment over 3 weeks, this was then aged for 11 months and bottled unfiltered.


Domaine Chapel is a Beaujolais estate founded by Michele Smith and David Chapel in 2016. Today, the Chapel's farm 4 hectares of vines on the slopes of Beaujolais, divided between the crus Chiroubles and Fleurie. Their focus is always to promote the health of the soil and with respect for the natural environment, achieved by working the vineyard parcels by hand in organic agriculture.

David Chapel and Michele Smith met in 2013 while Michele, a former sommelier and wine director of restaurant Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare in Brooklyn, NY, visited Domaine Lapierre while touring wineries in Beaujolais. David had been working in the vineyards and cellar at the Domaine in Villié-Morgon at the time, and when Matthieu Lapierre was unable to host Michele's visit, he sent David instead. For the next two years, David and Michele would live together in NYC. Then, in 2015, they decided to move back to Beaujolais, move forward with plans to farm and vinify their own wine and start their winery, Domaine Chapel.

Looking back, David, the son of acclaimed chef Alain Chapel, was bound to become a craftsman. Whether that craft was to be a chef or a vigneron was the story to be later written. In the 1980s, his father Alain Chapel would often host winemakers at his restaurant, building menus to pair with their wines. He forged friendships with Jules Chauvet, Marcel Lapierre, Pierre Overnoy, Gerard Chave and many other vignerons from his native Savoie to Burgundy and the Northern Rhône. He appreciated the company of people who were extraordinary at their craft and shed light on their work by featuring their bottles on his wine list, at the time a 3-star restaurant. The vigneron were friends that he cooked meals for and opened many bottles with over late-night conversations. They were all simple people, dedicated to a craft, who appreciated life. They were non-celebrities; they were cooks and farmers with soil still on their boots, welcomed to the family restaurant with open arms.

Above the kitchen of Restaurant Alain Chapel, David grew up in this unique environment, his views of life farming and winemaking sculpted by these experiences. Working his first harvest in Beaujolais in 2005 at Marcel Lapierre and again in 2006 for Christophe Pacalet. His career in wine & cuisine continued at his family's restaurant in both France and Japan and later in NYC.

In addition to the wines of Domaine Chapel, made from wines farmed by David and Michele, they have created Smith-Chapel, a range of négoçiant wines from organically farmed vines on the slopes of Beaujolais and the nearby Mâconnais region.


Grape(s) Gamay
Farming Organic