Nathalie and Jérôme are the winemakers of Château Boutinet, a beautiful property on the slopes of Fronsac in the Bordeaux region. Guide and winemakers, they combine the two activities: wine tourism and wine production for the greatest pleasure of wine and nature lovers. The projects are numerous and ambitious: biodynamics, a new cuvée but above all, the renovation of Château Boutinet, the emblem of the estate.
Nathalie and Jérôme met on the benches of the University. Nathalie is then an interpreter guide and guide for walks in the vineyards. She comes back to take courses at the University of Bordeaux to improve her skills in tasting and winemaking. She crosses the path of Jérôme who has behind him the experience of many vinifications.
Together, they embark on the winegrowing adventure by buying Château Boutinet and its 8Ha15 of vines in 2011. This 18th century property, located on the slopes of Fronsac, produces wine in the Bordeaux Supérieur appellation.
"Jerome fell into wine when he was a little boy. For my part, I am a guide-interpreter and trainer at the Bordeaux Wine School. To sum up, he makes the wine, I drink it!"
"Our aim is not simply to make wine, but to welcome people to the property. The terroir is certainly important, but above all we wanted a pleasant place to receive, welcome and live in," says Nathalie.
Thanks to her experience as a guide, she says: "I visit properties all year round where you spend a lot of time in the cellars and vats and very little time in the vineyards.
You mustn't do that. More and more people want to return to nature, have a garden and grow tomatoes...At Château Boutinet, we want to explain to them how we can make such extraordinary and different wines from grapes. »
They then set up numerous wine tourism activities. The Rando-Tapas is the flagship activity of Château Boutinet: the couple of wine growers propose a 1h15 walk, followed by a tasting of the Château's wines accompanied by home-made tapas: "We took a course with a chef last year to cook the tapas ourselves. The idea is conviviality", explains the winemaker.
They also offer visits and tastings, in the vineyard and in the cellar, as well as hikes through the vineyard to discover the Fronsadais terroir.
Nathalie and Jérôme are very attached to the vines, the land and this terroir. Following the famous adage "to make good wine, you need beautiful grapes", the couple works the vines meticulously and takes great care of the land.
"We are in sustainable agriculture. Since our arrival, we have worked the soil a lot. Our objective is to move towards biodynamic agriculture: "This year, the winegrowers are starting to convert to Organic Agriculture. At the same time, Nathalie is training for the first year at the Ecole Lyonnaise des Plantes Médicinales et des Savoirs Naturels (ELPMSN): "I want to understand why I use nettle or silica at such and such a time. It's a real life decision to come towards biodynamics. It's something that speaks to me," she confides.
Our Coup de Coeur vintages of Domaine Boutinet :
. Thalie de Boutinet 2015
When the winegrowers arrive on the estate, the wines are vinified in a cooperative cellar. They decide to make their own wines with grapes selected from the best plots of the Château.
"Our 2 best plots are on a clay-limestone plateau and are planted with Merlot. It is the quality that has dictated that our wines will be 100% Merlot", says Nathalie.
Making wine is a real team effort: "We both like the same wine profiles that stay on the fruit. Even our cuvée that goes into barrels should not be hidden by the wood. We want fruit, freshness and acidity", explains the winemaker.
Nathalie and Jérôme produce 3 wines, one Clairet and two reds :
There is no lack of projects on the estate and ideas are springing up. "In June 2017, we are going to market a new cuvée, L'étoile de Boutinet. This vintage was born a little by chance in 2012 and we redid it in 2015," says Nathalie. The originality? The purchase of a bottle will finance a stone that will allow the reconstruction of Château Boutinet, a magnificent mansion unfortunately in ruins.
On this date, they will also inaugurate a new tasting room: "It is an original tasting room ... I can't say any more. It's a surprise ", concludes, enigmatic, Nathalie. To be continued ....
Manon Mouly (for the Grappes)
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