DOMAINE DAMIEN COQUELET
Damien Coquelet bottled his first vintage in 2007, at just 20 years old! The step-son of Georges Descombes Damien has worked alongside him since early childhood.
Learning everything from Descombes in the vines and shared cellar has instilled the same values in Damien’s work ethic: organic viticulture, hand harvesting, native yeasts, zero intervention in the cellar and little if any sulfur at bottling.
DOMAINE MARCEL LAPIERRE
Little would we know that when Marcel Lapierre took over the family domaine from his father in 1973, he was on the road to becoming a legend. In 1981, his path would be forever changed by Jules Chauvet, a man whom many now call his spiritual godfather. Chauvet was a winemaker, a researcher, a chemist, and a viticultural prophet. It was he who, upon the advent of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the 1950s, first spoke out for “natural wine,” harkening back to the traditional methods of the Beaujolais. Together they called for a return to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: starting with old vines, never using synthetic herbicides or pesticides, harvesting late, rigorously sorting to remove all but the healthiest grapes, adding minimal doses of sulfur dioxide or none at all, and disdaining chaptalization. Sadly, the end of the 2010 vintage was Marcel’s last.
The methods at Lapierre are just as revolutionary as they are traditional; the detail and precision with which they work is striking and entirely different from the mass-produced majority of Beaujolais on the market today.
DOMAINE MICHEL GUIGNIER
Michel Guignier is a fourth generation vigneron in Villié Morgon, in the heart of the AOC Morgon appellation in Beaujolais. Following in the footsteps of the famed “Gang of Four” in Morgon, Guignier is committed to producing wines in the most natural way possible in order to both protect the environment and create wines that are alive and transmit a sense of place. He is in the process of slowly converting his estate to full organic certification, though has been planting grass and herbs between the rows as well as ploughing and composting for many years.
It goes without saying that Michel practices organic and biodynamic viticulture (he is certified by Agriculture Biologique and Demeter) and makes his wines without any additions. No industrial yeast, no added enzymes, no acidification, no filtering, no fining, no sugar, no new oak and no added sulphites.