A Day in Beaujolais with Le Cret de Bine
Wine Importer | Wine List Consultant | Speaker
It’s been a magical drive through France to see some of my newest suppliers. One being Le Cret de Bine in Sarcey. A biodynamic vineyard and winery in the southern end of Beaujolais.
Florence Subrin, owner and winemaker, met with us and we instantly loved her. She’s the third generation of winemaker on this 10 hectares and cares deeply for the environment and quality.
We took a little tour of the winery, a small operation of only 4 stainless steel tanks, 5 concrete tanks and some small barrels. She taught us about how they make the preparations for the land and how biodynamics is all about prevention of diseases on the vineyard rather than curing. We had a walk through her vineyards and you can see the difference between their plots and neighbouring plots where the owners aren’t focused on organic or biodynamic. What really shocked me is how they are still considered “weird” by their neighbours for following the organic and biodynamic track. I had this fantasy in my head that all French producers would care more for what they are doing with the land but I guess not. They are commercial first and many are a part of a cooperative so it’s about producing as many grapes as possible I guess…
Moving on, we were treated to a lunch of local bread, cheese and sausage while trying the new vintages of Terroir du Martin and Bioaddict before tasting the 2021 Cuvée du Francois out of the barrel and 2021 Cuvée du Florence (which she blended from the different barrels for us to taste as it hasn’t been blended yet…very cool to see) and it was so exciting and delicious. We also tasted a few new things like the gamay rosé and the demi-sec gamay rosé pet nat which was insanely tasty…
One thing I also walk away from is understanding biodynamics is more than just a style of winemaking. It’s a lifestyle. It’s about consuming less but consuming better. The vibe these people give off is different to big commercial wineries. The care factor is huge. They want to make an impact. They are humble and hardworking. They want to create awareness and change. There is no ‘competition’ in the biodynamic wine world, it’s more about collaboration. I love how they can reach out to other winemakers to ask questions about changes in the production and everyone is happy to help each other.
The final thing I observed was how 'alive' the vineyard is compared to commercial vineyards. Caterpillers, bumble bees, plenty of other insects, birds, rabbits... who doesn't want to drink the fruit of those vines?!
I leave Beaujolais feeling inspired and humbled. It truly is an incredible experience to visit people like this.