We have the pleasure of conversing regularly with winemakers. One recurring statement from the finest producers we know is that: “a good wine is made in the vines”. In short, the less they intervene in the vines, the less they’ll have to intervene in the winery. The healthier the grapes, the more delicious the wine. This week, we’ve therefore decided to shine the light on domains which have opted for organic and biodynamic viticulture. These discerning producers deserve our full attention.
The Bordeaux region has seen a wave of renewal of its viticulture in recent years. The quality has greatly improved thanks to meticulous winemakers making choosing more respectful practices. Whether they are crus classes – such as Pontet-Canet in Pauillac and Dauzac in Margaux – or domains in somewhat more discrete appellations, such as Clos Puy Arnaud, or producers of refined Péssac-Léognan perfectly made for cellaring (Château Haut-Bergey), they have all charmed us in their own way.
You know as well as we do, Alsace is at the forefront of organic and biodynamic winemaking, with the highest concentration of domains following these methods. The continental climate certainly plays a helpful role, ensuring constant, dependable weather, healthy conditions in the vineyard and perfect phenolic maturity. We won’t ever stop sharing our admiration for the work of domain Marcel Deiss, known for its unusual method of co-planting many varieties together in a region where the single-varietal wine is king. Another Alsatian favourite of ours is of course domain Bott-Geyl; we cannot but sit transfixed when Jean-Christophe Bott speaks about his work with such passion. We also recommend wines from Valentin Zusslin and domain Weinbach.
A true breeding ground for new ideas on respectful viticulture and natural vinifications, the Beaujolais is brimming with gems produced by excellent domains such as the family-owned Château Thivin in Côte-de-Brouilly, that of Paul-Henri Thillardon in Chénas, and, of course, Jean Foillard in Morgon. In the same vein, turn your attention to the Loire, which inexplicably manages to produce affordably-priced, excellent wines despite titanic work needed in the vines. The Taille aux Loups in Montlouis, Château Yvonne in Saumur or Clos Rougeard in Saumur-Champigny are just a couple of examples.
Do you have a penchant for the generosity of southern wines? In the Rhone, don’t forget about the wildly diverse range of Syrah produced. Wirth Cornas from Alain Voge, Crozes-Hermitage from Domaine Aléofane and Côte-Rôtie from Stéphane Othéguy, the most difficult part is the choosing. In the Languedoc, we highly recommend a couple of our favourites, Domaine d’Aupilhac, Domaine de Montcalmès and Domaine Peyre-Rose.
We hope you enjoy discovering new wines produced by men and women who put their heart and soul into producing these nectars!