Meet the maker
Domaine Christophe Vaudoisey
Dating back to 1804, the Vaudoisey family have quite a few branches making wine in the village of Volnay, but it is Christophe that has developed the most prominent reputation in recent years following a string of awards in the Guide Hachette.
After taking over 11 hectares from his father in 1985, Christophe became the 8th generation to make wine at the domaine. After building a brand new winery in 2008 he was able to marry a traditional approach to viticulture with modern equipment, and while good before, the results have been superb since. Following 18 months in barrel (30% new) the wines are bottled without fining and filtration.
These are silky smooth, elegant wines that exude class. There is a bit of white in Meursault, but the lion's share of production is red. The domaine has holdings in a number of prestigious 1er Cru climats, but the village wines from Volnay and Pommard offer superb value for money and are drinking beautifully already.
Meet the maker
Les Vignobles St Didier Parnac
Renowned as two of the leading pioneers of the Malbec grape in Mendoza, Argentina, Hervé and his wife Diane have decide to invest in a new project in Cahors, the original home of their favourite grape variety. The place is picture perfect; Hervé explained, when they first visited the vineyard land ‘we stood quite still and were both struck by its beauty and overwhelmed with an incredibly good and peaceful feeling’. Hervé and Diane also found themselves impressed by the diversity of the terroirs surrounding the Prieuré De Cénac. Built on a limestone headland dating from the Jurassic period, the Prieuré De Cénac dominates both valley and hills of the Cause at 300m above sea level, with 20-30% slope inclination. The main wine produced by Les Vignobles St Didier Parnac is named after the Prieuré De Cénac - and it is a beautifully well-made example of a traditional-style Cahors Malbec; structured and firm, yet wonderfully ample and generously-fruited. The Mission de Picpus is a thoroughly-modern expression of the Malbec grape, and recently picked up the Trophy for Best Cahors at the International Wine Challenge.
Meet the maker
The story behind Katharina Weschler becoming a shining light in the midst of a growing number of exciting young winemakers in the Rheinhessen is an incredible one. Coming from a local winemaking dynasty, she grew up wanting to do anything and everything but carry on the work at the family winery. It took a true journey of discovery from Stuttgart to Paris, working in numerous vocations, for her to realise that her passion, and indeed her destiny, lied in following her ancestors’ footsteps in producing superb wines in the small, idyllic village of Westhofen. However, whilst previous generations had focused on grape varieties and vinification methods that would lead to the greatest quantity of production, Katharina wanted to do things differently. After learning the ropes and gaining the skills required by training in oenology and viticulture, she sharpened the winery’s focus on the traditional varieties of the region, paying particular attention to Riesling.Her vineyard currently covers 17 hectares and the level of production is 80,000 bottles a year. The grapes are handpicked and the low-batch production approach has led to a range of wines that offer exceptional value for money. Expect a soaring freshness on the palate matched by a purity of aroma and balance that typifies Weschler’s ability to tread the line between tradition and innovation with triumphant aplomb.
Meet the maker
André & Michel Quenard
The Savoie region must be one of the most beautiful wine regions in France, and sadly often overlooked. Where else will you find snow capped mountains, rolling hills, wild streams and plentiful wildflowers surrounding your vineyards?
Andre & Michel Quenard farm 22 hectares of very steep, terraced vineyards around Chignin. Andre’s grandfather started the domaine in 1930’s, slowly buying small vineyards to increase production. Most of the wine was sold off in bulk, to satisfy the thirsty drinkers in the nearby ski resorts. It was only when Michel’s father, Andre, realised the potential of the Savoie that the domaine started bottling the wines with their name on.
They are not the only Quenard family in the Savoie, but certainly the most famous. It’s not just the quality of the wines they can thank for this; Andrew Jefford waxed lyrical about them in his book The New France and they quickly became hot property.
The vineyards, despite the mountainous location, enjoy a warm microclimate. There are 16 crus in the Savoie, each famous for a different grape variety. Here we focus on three, the Jacquere, Gamay and Mondeuse. Everything is hand harvested. The Jacquere is a dry white aged in stainless steel for 9 months with gentle lees stiring. The Monduese is aged in foudre for one year, with maceration lasting 12 to 15 days. They include some grapes that are whole-cluster to add some structure and tannin.
Meet the maker
One of the finest sources of Pinot Noir, not just in the United States, but in the world, Bergström's story began in 1999, when Josh and Caroline returned to the Willamette Valley, where his parents had been sowing and ploughing under rich green cover crops to revitalise the soil and prepare the land for vines. During his first year back from France, Josh planted vines and purchased grapes from other vineyards to make the first vintage of Bergström wine. He sourced fruit from other vineyards until 2001, when he produced his first wines using grapes from his family's vineyards.
The estate has more than 36 acres under vine, all of which are organically certified. Additionally, since 2000, the farming has been biodynamic and the results have impressed with an extra degree of vitality and freshness visible.
The amount of effort that Josh invests in the vineyard is one of the key reasons the wines are so impressive. Ten months of the year he is out on his tractor, all day, managing the vineyards. His approach is painstaking, meticulous and has been an inspiration to many young winemakers in the region.
Hunt & Harvest
La Roche Buissière
Le Cantine Murgo
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