Claude-Emmanuelle says she always wanted to make Beaujolais. As a kid she was interested in winemaking and by the 10th grade she had decided to specialize in viticulture in school. Like so many of her generation she continued her education with an internship overseas (on Long Island!) before coming home to make wine with her father. Claude-Emmanuelle now runs the winery with her brother. Since they took over, they have made some important changes: they converted to organic farming, began plowing, and stopped selling fruit to the negociants. Some of these changes were challenging. When they introduced ploughing all at once, their yields dropped precipitously from the shock to the vines. And bottling their entire production meant building a new cellar to handle the extra wine! All these changes were thoughtful and none of them were made dogmatically: Claude-Emmanuelle says that if there was ever a serious risk to the vines from mildew she wouldn't hesitate to use small amounts of synthetic products -- if that’s what she thought was called for. One thing they haven’t changed is the Desvignes style: tannic, age-worthy wines are what her father made, and that’s what they make to this day. They vinify in the Burgundian style, no carbonic-maceration here. And they age the wines for a long time. The wines have Beaujolais charm and Gamay fruit and they are accessible -- even when young. But they have mineral backbones and tannic bite like few other Beaujolais and they definitely get better with some age. To an outsider, Claude-Emmanuelle appears to have woven herself seamlessly into the fabric of her family’s domaine and of her home region. It’s hard to imagine a better testament to the position of women in Beaujolais than to see the naturalness with which they become part of the heritage.
Earthy , Fruity , Spicy