Why did you choose to become a winemaker?
It is above all a family history: we have been winegrowers from father to son since 1825. In fact, I had the chance to see my grandfather work in the vines, my father work in the vines, work in the cellar. I chose to take over the domain after higher studies: a BTS in viticulture and oenology and then a DNO, a National Diploma of Oenologist. This allowed me to see the traditional part with my grandfather and my father and then the more technical part through my studies.
How does one become a winemaker?
This is a rather complex question and yet it is easy to answer. Today, a winegrower, a winemaker, must have several skills. The first one is of course the vineyard, the viticultural part. You have to be able to make sure that your grapes reach maturity. Today, a lot of skills are needed in the vineyard, in the soil work. Indeed, we limit the use of weed killers, we limit the use of inputs, we come to more and more complex notions of terroir.
Then comes the oenological part, the vinification part. Today, everything that concerns the respect of the terroirs, the new techniques of wine making and all these skills are acquired with, for my part, studies in viticulture and oenology. This is the production part. Then, a winegrower must be able to sell his wine today. So he must have some commercial notions to be able to develop commercially in France, in Europe and in the great export. Moreover it seems to me that speaking English is necessary to be able to explain one’s work.
What’s your most beautiful memory as a winemaker?
My most beautiful memory as a winemaker, was the moment when the three generations of winemakers of the Domaine Aucoeur were present: my grandfather, my father and myself. We had a short period where, even though my grandfather was no longer working, he was still there and we were able to pass on our knowledges and experiences, which is important to me. In a few years, the domain will celebrate its 200th anniversary: 1825-2025. I am the 11th generation at the domain, and this historical part, this transmission part is extremely important for me.
What’s your favorite wine?
We will stay local, we will even stay at the domain! It is naturally the Morgon. The Morgon is the historical cru of the winery. Before, each domain was based on its own cru. At the Domaine Aucoeur it was our cru par excellence.
A wine pairing to suggest?
A wine pairing with our Morgon which is a rather powerful, rather majestic wine. And with the years it will take on more character. I think that a braised beef cheek seems could be quite interesting with a Morgon that is 2, 3, 4 years old. Simply because the Morgon will strengthen with the meat and we will have a nice balance.
In your opinion, what’s the most important commitment as a winemaker?
As a winemaker and perhaps as a winemaker of the Domaine Aucoeur, I would say that I have two commitments. The first is the notion of transmission. I am the 11th generation, I “inherited” the domain from my grandfather, from my father. My children are now studying oenology and viticulture. So this first commitment is to pass on the estate later. And to try to embellish it, to make sure that the estate is at its best to pass it on. The second commitment is to respect our terroir. In Beaujolais and particularly in Morgon, we are lucky to have magnificent terroirs that will give us exceptional wines and the respect of the terroir is something important for me. It will be part of my commitments in the coming years.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I would say that you can’t reduce it to one thing but maybe a combination of things. The first one is the relationship with people. When you produce wine you have a viticultural part and a vinicultural part. A vineyard part and a cellar part where you have to be excellent. But you also have to share what you have produced. And it is this relational part that is important for me. Because we are going to talk about our future product, we have to know how to explain what we have done and make people discover the best of our production.
What are you trying to communicate when you make your wine?
Several things. Wine, as you have understood, is a living thing, we are talking about breeding. So wine is above all a state of mind. When you taste a wine from the Domaine Aucoeur, you will first recognize the terroirs and then the way we make wine and the way the winery ages it. I try to make you discover different wines, wines with character, wines with fruit, wines that you won’t necessarily find elsewhere. Wines that are a little bit atypical, that’s what has always made our reputation since 1825. For example, when you open a bottle of wine from the house, when you open a Morgon from Aucoeur, you find pleasure, sharing and a sense of conviviality.