Yvon Metras, emblematic winemaker in Beaujolais whom you might have never heard of

Following the teachings of Jules Chauvet (whose writing inspired minimalistic wine-making) and Marcel Lapierre (leading lights for minimalistic winemaking in France), Yvon Metras was part of the generations during 1980s who returned to traditional practice to promote quality instead of quantity (like the commercial Beaujolais Nouveau). From a family domaine run by generations of winemakers, until late 80s his family was only selling the grapes to cooperatives. Things started to change when Yvon made his first vinifcation in 1988 and bottling in 1989, and then that was no looking back.
His vineyards in Fleurie and Moulin-A-Vent are manually farmed with regular plowing to add oxygen and promote breakdown of nutrients. The grapes are hand-harvested at optimal ripeness, but never too ripe as Yvon loves to retain the fresh acidity (he doesn’t really like hot vintages). Whole bunches are kept and they will go through semi-carbonic maceration like the old-fashioned way. After that an old press will take over with very gentle movement to respect the grapes, the pulp and the juice. Fermentation starts on wild yeast and maturation takes places in used barrels before bottling. Sulphur is used as the very last resort (only 2-3 times so far to treat bretts). The outcome? 100% Gamay with finesse, delicacy and fruit that can be drunk when young and can be aged for more tertiary profile.  

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