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Domaine des Grottes
Beaujolais, France

Romain brings something incredibly unique to his sleepy Southern Beaujolais village of Saint-Etienne des Oullieres. Originally from Paris, he had no formal training in grape growing or winemaking prior to taking an office job at property in the same village. That property was the Chateau de Lacarelle, which to this day “employs” Romain, in a roundabout kind of way. They set up a sharecropping agreement after Romain felt the urge to move his work into the vines, and since then Romain has made his mark on the sites, pulling out nearly half of the vines in lieu of planting grains. 

At the start Romain was simply selling off the grapes he was farming, but his methods in the vines didn’t win him any favours in the commercial “organic” wine sector, and eventually he gave in to trying his hand at vinifying the grapes himself. We’re glad he did - organic and biodynamic farming with very little plowing in the richly biodiverse vineyard produces gorgeous, expressive fruit, perfect for the light-touch vinification techniques Romain employs. In the cellar, Romain’s wines are textbook “zero-zero.”

In further breaking with the time honoured traditions of Beaujolais, Romain generally only macerates his wines for between 6-8 days, and bottles most of them particularly young. They are brightly fresh, with spritzy acidity, a playful nod to volatility, and the sparklings are an adventure all their own. They are wines meant to be youthful, unexpected, iconoclastic, and are a sure-fire way to piss off the conventional wine crowd. We’re always excited for these wines because you never quite know what you’re going to get - and that’s half the fun of it.