While André-Jean likes to joke that he’s the young winemaker with grey hair, since he’s in his mid-40s and only started making wine in 2010, the truth be told, winemaking is in his blood. His grandfather and several generations before him made wine and A-J (as he’s known around town and by his friends), his father and grandfather have each proudly carried the Biou, a huge bunch of strung together grapes from Arbois producers, in the annual Fête du Biou each September in Arbois honoring the coming harvest.
The domaine produces around 25,000 bottles each year from five hectares in Arbois AOC planted to local red varieties Trousseau and Ploussard, local white variety Savagnin and the international varieties Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A-J works another seven hectares but today that fruit is sold to other producers.
They work their vineyards in an agriculturally sustainable fashion, harvest almost all of their vineyards by hand, use natural yeasts and don’t chaptalize the wines, all in an effort to let what happens in the vineyard take center stage in what show’s up in your glass. As a result, these wines are genuine, honest, heartfelt expressions from Arbois.
A testament to the quality of the work that is happening at Domaine de la Touraize, in 2013 André-Jean was featured on the cover of Le Point, a French weekly political and news magazine, in its annual wine issue.
In the words of David Schildknecht from Vinous, “Austria’s 2013 Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners display exceptionally bright acidity, clear flavor definition and uncanny complexity.” 2013 has given us the stunning combination of healthy, ripe grapes that remain light on their feet as the alcohol levels stayed in check, married with focused, tense acidity.
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