We are happy to admit that our philosophy cannot be reduced to pithy tenets about the process and result of winemaking. We do not dictate to our winegrowers what they should or should not do (whether in the vineyard or in the cellar), nor do we have unchanging criteria when selecting our portfolio.
Some of our growers are working the same land, in much the same way, as ten or more generations did before them. Others have had careers in nuclear physics, marketing, cereal farming, blacksmithing before turning their hands (not to mention hearts and minds) to wine. Most of them farm organically and/or biodynamically, but some do avail themselves of the help from synthetic materials (but always sparingly). In the cellars, we have seen everything from wooden basket to the state-of-the-art pneumatic presses, new barriques to cement vats to INOX tanks. The wines range from the nearly colourless (Mosel Riesling) to purplish black (Touraine Côt), subtle noses of wave-washed stones (Muscadet) to soaring aromas of olives, violets and leather (Northern Rhône Syrah), bone-dry (Prosecco, yes) to unctuously sweet (Mosel Riesling again).
That is because we have seen the respect each of them has for their terroir and the changing conditions of every vintage, and in turn we respect their efforts by not presuming to know better. Like all good food, wine can and should be pleasurable, but also rewards humility and patience many times over should one be so inclined.
The key element informing our approach is respect – for the land, for its stewards (the winegrowers), and for our clients.
In practice, this means we:
- Have long-standing relationships with our winegrowers, and import each wine directly from the estate
- Walk through every vineyard to understand the terroir and how our winegrowers work their land
- Taste each wine multiple times, in barrel (or vat) and in bottle, in different contexts (e.g. with and without food), before any purchase
- Transport our wines using only refrigerated containers across our entire portfolio, whether it’s a basic Cotes-du-Rhône or a Grand Cru Champagne
- Meet with and understand each of our client’s needs and inclinations
In short, we only import and sell wines we ourselves would drink.