Julien Braud hails from the small village of Monnieres in the Sèvre et Maine appellation. Today he owns just over seven hectares, with only around five hectares going into his production. He began his winemaking career at his family’s estate, domain Fief aux Dames where he worked through the 2011 vintage. In 2012, he ventured out on his own when he took over three hectares from his parents. His vision was to work in a way that highlighted the individual terroirs of the region and the heights to which Melon de Bourgogne could be taken. At the young age of 29 years old, Julien is one of only a handful of the next generation of winemakers in the region. He is bucking the trend in the area, which in recent years has seen a decline in producers and Melon de Bourgogne vineyards given the challenges of making a living selling Muscadet. He remains undeterred!
Julien works entirely organically and will be fully certified as such come 2016. He also incorporates biodynamic approaches. He uses horses in his vineyards to minimize soil compaction, hand harvests, uses only natural yeasts for fermentation after a gentle press, and ages the wines on their lees in glass-lined, underground cement vats. A truly quality-minded approach to that has resulted in wines of complexity, texture and balance.
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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