After a wonderful visit at his home high in the hills of Beaujolais last week, we are thrilled to introduce the wines of Romuald Valot.
Originally from Burgundy, Romauld has spent the past decade forging a new path in a particularly remote part of the Beaujolais. Born into a family of vignerons, he spent decades working for classic producers in Burgundy and was left disenchanted by the amount of chemicals used in the vineyards and the tricks being played in the cellar. In 2013 he bought a small cottage, cuverie and three hectares of vines in the hills above Beaujeu, way out in Beaujolais’ west.
The vines are planted over granite and are a hundred years old. At five hundred metres above sea level, they are amongst the very highest in the region but most importantly, they are a world away from most in the area, allowing Romauld to be alone with nature. He has since acquired a further eight hectares of vines elsewhere in the region, and also farms a hectare in the Côte de Beaune’s Ladoix, from which he produces a sublime Pinot Noir.
Romuald practices his own extreme take on organic agriculture. Refusing to spray even copper and sulphur on the vines, he experiments without ploughing or pruning in some parcels. In the event he does need to treat the vines, he does so with his own infusions of wild plants, which he gathers and mixes with spring water, whey and clay.
Romuald’s winemaking is comparatively simple. He picks early in the morning, fills each cuve with whole bunches and fastens the cap. After a fortnight of infusion the grapes are pressed slowly over several hours and the wine is moved to old barrels for a year of élevage.
Whilst his approach to farming might seem radical, the wines are anything but. Vibrant, fragrant and nuanced, they are an exercise in purity and thrillingly unique.
There is a nice article on Romuald written by our friend Aaron of Not Drinking Poison. He’s generously taken down the paywall so that you can read it here, though we’d highly recommend subscribing to his thoughtful, erudite newsletter about the kind of wines we love.
Finally, if you’d like to enjoy some of Romuald’s wines alongside a menu of Lyonnaise Bouchon classics, there are still a couple of tables available for our Beaujolais dinner at Brawn this coming Monday 8th of November. These can be booked by via the restaurant’s website
A selection of Romauld’s wines can be found on Tutto a Casa