Meet the Producer
Situated on the sunny south-facing slope of Mont Brouilly, a beautiful landmark of the rolling hillside region of Beaujolais, is the Domaine. The name of the domaine is drawn from the hue of the underlying rock that is a blue granite composed from metamorphic volcanic rock similar to that found in the Massif Central. The rock is so hard that Christiane’s father had to use dynamite to blast the rock to create the cellars in 1976.
All the grapes are hand picked, unloaded in the upper part of the cellar and the vinification process uses gravity (the slope of Mont Brouilly) to feed the grapes, then wine from one level to the next.
All the grapes are cool-fermented to optimize the extraction of aromatics. Once pressed, the wine flows from the upper cellar in to the oak foudres that are housed underground which are naturally cool – 53 to 65F.
The Domaine is 9ha in size, planted only with Gamay, between 7 to 80 years old.
About the Winemaker
Having been with Boutinot since 1989 it’s fair to say Samatha Bailey’s seen more than a few changes. To rewind a little, what happens when you visit France as an au pair, study French at university and then end up with a work placement in Burgundy (Beaune)...wine gets to be a (big!) part of your life, despite career advice suggesting you should go into accounting!
Her first first job was with the very prestigious UK-based Wine Society in their marketing department, and then with Boutinot. The learning curve wasn’t so much a curve as a vertical climb but so exhilarating – tasting, playing, blending, learning. When you start with good ingredients the result can be formidable… BUT it’s not good enough to do formidable once – it’s got to be done every time and that’s demanding but then life without a challenge would be boring!
Originally it was just French wine but as time passed we started to work in South Africa then Australia, Chile, Argentina, California, New Zealand and more. She does have a soft spot for South Africa, especially Chenin and Sauvignon.
Samantha is probably now more than half French if one considers the length of time she’s been there. She lives in a lovely part of France with her Portuguese husband and two girls, having managed to integrate into the village community and becoming almost one of the locals.
As she simply states: ‘I was born in England but France is home, and I absolutely love the wine adventure that started 28 years ago and is still ongoing.’