Happy with his successes, Julien is looking to expand production to meet increasing demand. Still holding to his stance of being “négociant” (the négoce grapes constitute 35-45% of the wine production), he has worked the situation to his advantage by building close and trusting relationships of cooperation with grape suppliers.
The latest exciting development is the expansion of the estate’s parcels, with the acquisition of two hectares of land in Crozes-Hermitage dedicated to growing Syrah. The newly planted parcel is situated on a steep slope, with a quartz-rich granite soil and unique sun exposure early in the morning, as would be typical of Saint-Joseph wines. The result is a Crozes-Hermitage that draws on all the strengths of cultures in Saint-Joseph, yet tastes distinctively characteristic of its surroundings. That’s “the magic of terroir,” according to Julien.
As of this vintage, the vineyard is certified organic. Julien is implementing biodynamic practices across his parcels, as well as maximizing work by hand in the vines while minimizing intervention at the winery. His plans for the newly acquired terrain go beyond simply growing grapes. Along with his wife Nancy, the pair hopes to increase the biodiversity of the surrounding area by planting more wood space, cacti, and by promoting the development of mycelium, all to create healthier environments through natural temperature regulation and stronger nutritional networks. Julien is constantly experimenting various practices and collaborating with established fellow winemakers.
We thank Julien for his warm welcome and hospitality, and we hope to see them again in Northern Rhône, or at our new Parisian office space designed by Catherine and Kirk. Stay tuned!
By Stéphanie Gervais & Patrick Eid (Edited by Vicki Denig)