Jean-Christophe, or simply JC to his friends, is a tall and seemingly enigmatic man. Quietly driven but with a generous, curious and energetic personality, he produces wines of a similar character. For many years prior to becoming a vigneron JC worked as a sommelier, and it was during these years that he discovered the wines that really piqued his interest. They were wines of detail and energy, living wines that told a story, and it was these wines and the lives of the people that made them that ignited a desire in him to make such wines himself.
After leaving his career selling wine, he set off on his journey of learning how to grow it, and a 6 month work placement during his schooling saw him in the Loire, as a stagiaire with Mark Angeli, as well as spending time in the deep south, in Banyuls with the Parcé family. Working and mixing with these people and many others in the natural wine world really settled the ideal of winemaking for JC.
The health of the vines and the grapes were paramount, and like so many say, he too believes that wine is made in the vineyard.
In 2002 the time came, and JC settled in the village of Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay in the Loire Valley. Not only is this village the home of an excitingly diverse range of vignerons but not too far away, dispersed throughout Anjou there is a bone-quiveringly stellar group of wine growers including Sebastien Dervieux, Jerome Lambert and Olivier Cousin, to name but a few.
Starting out with a considerably smaller enterprise, these days JC has close to 12 hectares, with his most recent land acquisitions only happening in the last couple of years - his kids are growing up and they’re whip-smart, university is on the horizon and JC needs to expand his production to help send them there.
Working with certified organic vines of up to 60 years of age, JC farms a mix of chenin blanc, grolleau, gamay, cabernet franc and pineau d’aunis. Everything is done manually, whilst using some biodynamic practices. No synthetic pesticides or herbicides are used in the vines and only minimal amounts of sulphites are used - if any at all. JC’s wines are lively and individual, with quiet confidence. They are excellent representations of the land from which they come - and of the man that bought them to life.