Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vouette et Sorbée in 31 Days of Natural Wine

I'm contributing today to 31 Days of Natural Wine, a collaborative project conceived of and hosted by Cory Cartwright on his blog, Saignée.

My post today is on Vouette et Sorbée, the biodynamically-farmed estate of Bertrand Gautherot in the Aube. Have a look, and return to Cory's site over the next few weeks for guest posts on natural wine by some of the best wine bloggers out there.


Lyle Fass said...

Great stuff Peter. Sounds like I would really dig it. What do they typically retail for in the US?

How deep is he into biodynamics? Burying the horn etc? Or do the chickens and cow and mixtures suffice?

Why are many growers in champagne hard-pressed to go organic/biodynamic?

I will be exploring why this is the road least traveled in Germany for my 31 days post.....

Great article again.

Eurocentric said...

I visited Bertrand in April and wandered around the vineyards with him for a couple of hours. He's what I would call a lovable nut ... but it's very hard to deny what he is doing when you look at and smell the soil compared to his neighbour's. The biggest problem for any bio grower, esp in Champagne, is mildew. Bertrand is trying all sorts of things to counter this.

The wines are not expensive at the source but obviously are limited in supply. Bertrand does not want them to be expensive in the market either, so if an importer was overcharging I think he would have stern words. Hard to control retailers though!

*I am importing V&S to Australia (along with Léclapart, Chartogne-Taillet and next year Ulysse Collin)

Peter Liem said...

Thanks, Lyle. I don't know what they will retail for in the States, but they won't be inexpensive -- it's not because Bertrand's prices are too high (he's actually resisted raising his prices, and wants his wines to be accessible, as Neville points out), but the whole importing to America thing just pushes prices up. I expect that Blanc d'Argile and Saignée de Sorbée would be at least $100, with Fidèle a little less. There are many reasons why more people don't go organic, but one of the biggest has to be mildew. It's such a chronic problem here in Champagne, and potential for losing crop is very high. This trio of 2007/2008/2009 has been especially brutal for mildew, requiring more treatment than usual, and that raises a classic question: which is worse for the environment—a little synthetic product, or spraying copper and sulfur 30 times?

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