I make no secret that Pumpjack 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 in our Whatnots about Our Wine.
I have also outlined (monthly) what’s involved in working a vineyard (read back breaking work) in What goes into Making Wine. But what you may not know is that he has also gone through the (painful, French) process of becoming a Negociant.
So what is a negociant? It is the French term for a wine merchant or trader. Someone 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. Last year would be a case in point here in Burgundy. A negociant offers the grower the opportunity to sell his product, a win win situation.
The negociant 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 was the case with our limited ‘Fissure’ wine. He may look to blend with other areas or even grape varieties.
In the past negociants did not have a good reputation in France. Mainly due to wine maker snobbery. This has changed significantly in the past couple decades as négociants develop their own wine making skills .
Because owning a vineyard in France is seriously not easy, being a negociant has become a very viable option for many up and coming wine makers.
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.
Shop Wine Lover Gifts in our Shop
As wine makers ourselves, we are always on the search for interesting, unique and particularly French wine items for our vintage and antiques shop. Here’s a taste of some of the things we have found: