Seasonal portrait of the Dubois family: Winter and pruning
THE DUBOIS FAMILY
It was in 1927 that the family Dubois started getting itself a reputation as winegrowers. Indeed that year Oscar Dubois, native of Mézières and employed as a winegrower to 'Clos des Moines' belonging to the town of Lausanne, acquired the 'Domaine de la Tour' at Marsens in the Dézaley.
Oscar died suddenly in 1936 and his wife assumed the responsibility for the estate until the sons were ready to take over.
The elder son Marcel, born in 1928, learnt his business with a wine-merchant in Lucerne, then worked at the Bellevue Palace in Berne. Gaston, born in 1930, started his carrier in the hotel business with the Maurer Palace. During the Olympic games of 1948, he worked at the Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz, then at the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich. Back home, Marcel and Gaston Dubois acquired in 1957 a house at Epesses in order to facilitate the cellaring and sale of wine, because the 'Domaine de la Tour de Marsens' has a rather difficult access due to its location. In 1973 the family Dubois acquired at Cully the 'Petit Versailles', which had always been dedicated to the wine and where the production of the 'Domaine de la Tour de Marsens' had been cellared since the beginning of the century. In 1966, the sons of the brothers Dubois, Christian (born in 1950, the son of Marcel) and Jean-Daniel (born in 1952, the son of Gaston) began an apprenticeship of winegrowers and then attended the school of oenology at the Federal Station of Montagibert. The evolution of the business and of the persons involved lead to a separation of the family estates. Marcel and Christian took over the 'Petit Versailles' at Cully, whereas Gaston and Jean-Daniel stayed on at Epesses at the 'Vieux-Pressoir'.
This separation allowed Gaston and Jean-Daniel to create their specialities 'La Demoiselle' and 'Marque à Feu' for the white wines, and 'Crête de Coq' and 'St.-Saphorin Pinot noir' for the red wines.
In 1978 Jean-Daniel acquired the 'Domaine Les Coteaux du Partage' at Vouvry, in the Valais part of the Chablais.
In 1980 Jean-Daniel obtained the 'Maîtrise Fédérale Viticole'.
Today, Gaston is a grandfather and proud of his estates, which total about ten hectares of vineyards and which his son manages with great success; and one or several of his six grandchildren show promising signs as future successors.
Letters by Gaston Dubois, wine-grower at Epesses
These letters cover the whole viticultural year and pay homage to the vine, to the picking of the grapes, to the wine pressing and to the storing of the wine. They talk of the gratification of the winegrowers as they harvest the rewards for all the work done; of the harvest festivities in the entire viticultural world that pay tribute to the nature, to the soil, to the vineyard and to the winegrower.
They demonstrate the communication between the producer and the connoisseur of good wines, the former happy and proud of his harvest and the good wine in his cellar, the latter joyfully looking forward to tasting a good wine next spring. The culture of the vine goes in step with our civilisation. An unpleasant autumn, a harvest at risk will not change the perenniality of the symbiosis of people and vine.