Genepi is a rare and protected plant, the picking of which is regulated or prohibited depending on the regions and the massifs. In 2020, Maison Meunier wanted to create its own organic culture of genepi, in the heart of the Vanoise massif in Savoie. Thus, the quality of the plants intended for distillation is controlled. A real challenge for the teams, who aim to become completely autonomous in the supply of genepi by 2023.
To find the perfect plots for the development of genepi plants, many factors must be taken into account: exposure, altitude, soil composition, drainage...
Thus, our three plots are located at an altitude of more than 1600m, and are exposed so that the yield is optimal, according to the varieties of genepi (artemisia umbelliformis or yellow genepi and artemisia genipi or black genepi) .
It is Thierry, beekeeper and childhood friend of the Modelski family, who now oversees the farm, which includes no less than 7,000 plants in cultivation to date.
To sustain and grow the genepi plantation, a whole process must be followed.
The seeds, carefully chosen with the help of a nurseryman, must germinate during the winter. After being cooled for several days, germination can begin, and the plants are transplanted into individual pots to continue their growth before transplanting into the ground.
Once germinated, and after about 4 to 5 months of growth, the genepi plants are planted when the snow melts. The plants are then watered in small quantities to take root, and thus resume their growth, this time in the ground.
The first flowering is to be expected for June/July with a few sprigs. Note that it becomes optimal the year after the first flowering. The lifespan of a plant is about 3-4 years.
Drying and distillation
Once harvested, the strands are dried and then distilled to make it into your bottles!
This is how since 2020, Maison Meunier has been cultivating its own genepi, to obtain liqueurs that are ever more faithful to the aromas of alpine plants. Two-hundred-year-old recipes and processes, for a unique tasting experience.
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