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'I took over my father's winery and changed a lot of things. Funny enough, my dad does not like my wine. He has been drinking commercial wine for a while and there is a standardisation of taste, and we have to be careful about it especially when judging new things.'
After earning a degree in international law, Valentin decided that he would prefer to make wine, and so travelled to Alsace to learn winemaking, where he was influenced by producers like Bruno Schueller and Pierre Frick.
In 2014, he took over the family domain and quickly introduced TCS (simplified cultivation techniques) in the vineyard. Valentin is looking after 6 ha of vineyards, Chardonnay and Savagnin for the white grapes, Pinot, Trousseau and Poulsard for reds. Soils here are typically Jurassic soil composed of Triassic Marne (marl). Valentin's vines are on average 40 to 45 years old except from the Bois d'Arnaux vineyard. The Bois d'Arnaux is a younger plot planted by Valentin, with massale selection cuttings from Philippe Bornard for the Poulsard, and Savagnin from Julien Labet. Minimum intervention in the cellar is a consequence of Valentin's desire to make 'true wines' that do not need any additions. His reds are destemmed, macerated and aged in stainless steel tanks, unlike the whites which are pressed, fermented and aged in barriques.
Speaking to Valentin is always about deep thoughts and great discussions - he is a highly political, intelligent human being who deeply believes that manual work (and in that the whole idea of a farmer) has been tremendously undervalued in the past, as academia and intangible work has become the new 'elite' work. To him, working his soil is as much of an intellectual process as is being a lawyer, and in that he is fighting for a political change in his region that sees small farmers take more control over their fields and farms. It's incredible to see his purpose, not just in making wine, but also in the greater impact and voice that he can have as a vigneron. We are very proud to have him as part of our portfolio.