Alice Bouvot got her start in agricultural and oenology studies alongside three years or so of travels around the New World, working for what we’d probably classify as “conventional” winemakers nowadays. It wasn’t until she returned to France that she tasted her first natural wine (notably, a wine of Jerome Saurigny) and found her spirit changed, her interests totally diverted. And so, in 2005 Alice and her partner at the time Charles Dagand started Domaine de l’Octavin with just a few vines to farm in Arbois. After several difficult vintages of the land and of the heart, Alice and Charles split but Alice decided to carry on with the mission of Domaine de l’Octavin on her own. While the difficulty of a few bad vintages could have easily broken the spirit of a young vigneronne, Alice decided to set out on a new approach: negociant winemaking. Since the onset of that passion project, Alice, it seems to us, has set the industry standard for negociant wines. She’s diligent about being hands-on throughout the process, firstly via her selection of growers (who are all at a minimum certified organic), then through her dictating the time of harvest, and lastly being on site for the harvest.
It’s perhaps these last few crucial steps that are emblematic of Alice’s wines and Alice as a person. Her goal is to produce wines of great energy and vibrancy - thus looking to pick the wines earlier than some others might. But ultimately it’s the energy she brings to every project she attempts that shines through, a real willingness to go out and try new things fearlessly.
Brazen confidence alone doesn’t make for great wine, though. It’s through fastidious tasting, methodical consideration of the elements at play, and a long history of experience that Alice manages to create wines of energy and playfulness that also brim with grace, elegance, and purity. For us, it’s that balance between those forces that define Alice’s wines and set them apart from many. And whether it’s a macerated muscat from the Roussillon or 10% abv trousseau from the Maioche vineyard overlooking Arbois, there’s a trademark joyousness to Alice’s wines that can’t be found elsewhere.