"I believe that in Burgundy, the talentthe
talent which produces the great wineis in the terroir*. The reputation
of the wine from Burgundy was made over the past several centuries and
it comes from the quality of wine that the (particular) terroir can provide.
That is the talent. The role of the winemaker
is to enable the terroir to be in the best condition possibleto
help bring forward (like a mid-wife) the product of the exceptional land.
The role is to listen to the terroir. One listens always to the terroir
to understand what to do to achieve an equilibrium in the soil, what to
use as vegetal material, how to prune, how to treat the vines. There is
always a selection of the best methods so that the terroir is in its best
disposition possible to make a good wine.
"In a winemaker's life, one makes a wine
thirty, forty, or if you are lucky, fifty times, but usually more like
forty times, which is not a lot. And, even if one has experience and knowledge,
one is always before a blank sheet. You only know what nature has written
after the fact. All the year, you follow a page that is written before
you, and you participate, but you never know where you are and what is
*Terroir denotes the particular
complex of natural conditions of a vineyard land, including soil qualities,
rock mineral content, and drainage.