I make no secret that Pumpjack, aka David, is my very own, personal wine maker. Am I lucky, or what? I’ve detailed our adventures in finding a vineyard after moving here to France, as well as what’s involved in working a vineyard (read back breaking work) ~ see Our Wine page ~ but what you don’t yet know is that he has also gone through the (painful, French) process of becoming a Négociant.
So what is a négociant? It is the French term for a wine merchant who buys everything from grapes to grape must (the mushy in between stage), to wines in various states of completion, often from smaller growers, eg without the where with all of producing and marketing their own wines. Sometimes a vineyard will produce too small a quantity of grapes to make it worthwhile to make a wine, very often as a result of bad weather. This year would be a case in point here in Burgundy. A négociant offers the grower the opportunity to sell his product, a win win situation.
The négociant is not just limited to France either, but can search out grapes, etc. anywhere in Europe. What he does with these findings varies. He may simply sell a wine under his own name, as is the case with our limited ‘Fissure’ wine, which is not normally available outside of France, or even for that matter its own area. And, as is the case of my personal Oenologist, he is particularly searching out unusual and limited availability grapes and/or wine to blend to form his own amazing wines. (Watch this space for the results in the near future!)
And now the sun is setting outside my window as I write this, so we know what that means. It’s wine o’clock. Santé.