The following texts describe the gardens that Marie-Thérèse passionately works and/or supports.
Support through a love of literature, books, poetry and the Foundation.
My uncle, Maurice Chappaz, was a great writer and strong defender of agriculture, viticulture, and nature. It was he who saved the vines planted in 1924 by his own uncle, Maurice Troillet.
Maurice Chappaz was the oldest of 10 children - my own father Claude was second in line with only a 10-month age difference between them. Because their parents were so busy with work and children, the brothers spent a lot of time with their uncle, Maurice Troillet, who became a second father to them. Together, they developed a taste for culture and good food that was simple but delicious. They were very attached to their home region of Valais.
Maurice Troillet -my great-uncle - was heavily involved in local politics. He was a visionary who viewed Valais as a land of plenty. He was a strong promoter of local agriculture and worked on the creation of the Châteauneuf School of Agriculture and the Provins cooperative. He also supported the damming of the Rhône and the building of the Grand-St-Bernard tunnel.
Coming from a family tradition of statesmen, Maurice Troillet encouraged Maurice Chappaz to follow in his footsteps but for the latter, writing was his life’s calling. He wrote magnificent books of poetry and sublime love letters to Corinna Bille, also a writer and who was to become his wife. After her death, he created the Foundation so that their works would be perpetuated and passed down through the generations.
Maurice Troillet left a patrimony of books, paintings, an abbey, and a part of the Claives vineyard. His was a love of the written word, of poetry, and of life. I am privileged to be a part of this inheritance. Since the death of Corinna Bille, I have had the honour of caring for and safeguarding these vines that are my family’s heritage and the Foundation’s property.
We celebrated “100 years of Maurice Chappaz” in the spring of 2016 with an exhibition at the Gianadda Foundation in Martigny. A book of the correspondence between Maurice and Corinna was published to mark the occasion.
With a 50-100 franc yearly donation, you can become a friend of the Foundation. The Foundations hosts an annual soiree with readings, music, and wine tastings from the wines of their vineyard. Each donor also receives a book by either Corrina or Maurice.
Cheese, wine and musical pairings.
I have a passion for wine pairings, especially when it concerns cheese. I developed this love with the help of:
Jacques Duttweiler, master cheese-maker,
Steve Bettschen, winemaker, cellar-master, and trainer for tastings,
Jean-Paul Voiland, great connoisseur of fine arts.
The Musical Barn incorporates baroque music for the harpsichord, flute, oboe, and cello played by friends and musicians: Véronique Carrot, José-Daniel Castellon, Jean-Louis Capezzali and Léo Capzzali. The music is performed to illustrate the poems of Corinna Bille and Maurice Chappaz, and to accompany the wine and cheese pairings.
Fruit, vegetables, my hands in the soil.
With my talented gardener friends Sissi, (who is also an actor) and Madeleine Carron, we have created a 2000 square meter communal garden.
This labyrinth on the edge of the Rhône is located in Fully, between straw-covered hills covered in wild sunflowers, vegetables such as squash, and other plants – a virtual paradise for snails and an unconditional sharing of nature.
I am part of the Fully Grand Cru Association, which consists of:
23 passionate grape growers and winemakers,
a crystalline terroir that is unique in Valais,
a magnificent terraced vineyard.
Since 1996, four Grand Cru wines have resulted from a demanding quality-control process, and featuring feature the following grape varietals: Ermitage, Petite Arvine, Gamay and Syrah. The bottles are identical, guaranteeing unique and authentic wines. Your wine destination in Valais!
I met Pierre Masson during an introductory course on biodynamics. I immediately appreciated his approach to agriculture, his respect for nature, and his enthusiasm and energy. He began consulting with me at the estate and I regularly help him prepare biodynamic treatments for use at the chateau near Cluny, where Biodynamie Services is located. I am happy to promote this association that he created with Ulrich Schreier and his son Vincent.
The “Soin de la Terre” Association conducts research on biodynamic agriculture. It focuses particularly on the quality of the preparations and composts used by this method, as well as on their effects. The Association also studies soil evolution, the development of humus, carbon levels and water management along with the biodynamic treatments.
The website www.soin-de-la-terre.org offers additional information on biodynamic agriculture: www.soin-de-la-terre.org. Readers will discover possibilities for biodynamic preparations and different methods used. They will also learn about on-going trials and results of past studies, in addition to reference articles, conferences, slide shows and travel notes.
Files and links towards work being done on vine regeneration are also available as part of continuing research on the problems of plant degeneration.
This autonomous, independent association is a centre for exchange and research on how to care for the Earth. Its members are interested in biodynamics, whether they be consumers, amateur gardeners, merchants, farmers, producers, etc.
Among its numerous activities are the not-to-be-missed events dedicated to horn manure. During these festive occasions, cow horns are filled with manure then buried during autumn and dug up in the spring. This process allows the manure to mature during the winter season and results in a biodynamic preparation that contains concentrated bacteria that activate the soil’s biodiversity and richness.
I have great affection for this organisation and feel strongly about promoting it.
“Pictorial Symphony” at the Cosmic Garden – ‘Holokinetic’ performance, December 6, 2015
A dialogue between K-Soul’s holokinetic paintings and virtuoso pianist Aki Hoffmann.
“Holokinetic art” – a new art form
At the controls of his holokinetic aircraft, the artist explores the mystery of the cosmos, revealing luminous maps of infinite horizons. The garden opens into a fabulous universe where forms take life, flowers spring into life and then disappear, stars shine, worlds die and are reborn. This is the creative spirit behind the Cosmic Garden – the heat of summertime life, the cold crystallization of winter, autumnal death and spring rebirth. These are the guiding patterns of our time on Earth – metamorphoses of forms and colours, a secret yet universal language, soft light at the heart of a seed hiding the mystery.
A luminous symphony arouses the creative soul. The Cosmic Garden enthralls, the gardener achieves. The Universe runs through our veins, shines in our nerves and strives for awareness.
We are the gardeners of Earth.
This space is an initiation into humanity. We invite you to discover it: www.jardincosmique.com
Holokinetism – Art by Light
Sometimes depending on the weather, my mood, and the amount of time I have, I’ll go out into the vineyard with my workers and friends to pick the grapes that have undergone botrytis or “noble rot”. We gather them with the utmost care, delicately placing them into a basket. Petite Arvine is a varietal that is particularly susceptible to this fungus, which concentrates the sugars and is responsible for some of the world’s greatest sweet wines.
The Grain Noble ConfidenCiel charter today includes more than 30 producers who work to produce exceptional sweet wines from vine-dried grapes. They have agreed to a set of rules and quality controls that account for much of the success of Valais sweet wines.
“When the Heavens unite with Earth to create the exceptional”