FELCO's magazine - Online version
Jean Claude Biver

A snapshot: A snapshot

The "Farinet Vineyard", a small vineyard with a big heart

The 2013 Farinet Vineyard grape-harvest took place on October 15, in the presence of Jean-Claude Biver, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hublot (Watchmaker manufacturer, located in Nyon, Switzerland). Eric Boschung and Vincent Burgat of FELCO Switzerland handed Mr. Jean-Claude Biver a FELCO 8CC, a special edition with leather-coated handles, with which, he has picked the fruit of the harvest 2013.

Unique to the 2013 edition: the grape has been transported from the vine to the press by a robot, connected to a drone! Immediately after the harvest, Jean-Claude Biver flew to Tokyo so that his Japanese friends could taste the new wine. The Chief of the Swiss business joins Zinedine Zidane, Roger Moore, Tino Rossi, even Barbara Hendricks in the list of personalities who came to work the "Farinet Vineyard", in Saillon, in the heart of the Valais, in Switzerland. It is the smallest vineyard in the world, with only 3 vine stocks, with a surface area of 1,618 m² (maths wizards will appreciate the reference to the golden number, a symbol of perfect harmony).
Let’s go back in time. Born in 1845, Samuel Farinet has been a counterfeiter right from childhood. Sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy for counterfeiting, he arrived in Valais at the age of 20 where he continued along this criminal pathway. He issued tens of thousands of counterfeit coins, was sentenced three times, and spent most of his time trying to escape the police force. The public supported him: beautiful and charming, he was an idol to women. In addition, without counting, he gave his fake coins to the poor.
In 1880, at 35 years of age, known as the Alpine Robin, pursued by the forces of order, he died in a gorge close by to Saillon.
In 1932, Jean-Louis Barrault played the role of Farinet in the film based upon the book by Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz (Farinet or gold mountain), in 1938. Fascinated by the character, Jean-Louis Barrault founded the Friends of Farinet in 1980, and with Madeleine Renaud, created this vine to serve an humanitarian purpose.
Every year, the "Pilgrims of hope"(famous personalities, more than 300 to date) come here as seasonal workers for a day. The harvest is then matched to a great wine, here or elsewhere, and the thousand bottles produced are sold to raise money for children. Result: more than a million Euros in donations have been distributed.
The vine was named the "Vineyard of Peace", in 2000, by the new owners, the Dalai Lama and the Abbé Pierre.