Anne-Sophie Dubois, winemaker and farmer in Beaujolais, grew up in Champagne. She fell in love with organic farming in Burgundy, and now she tends her Gamay and Gamaret vines in the Les Labourons lieu-dit of the Beaujolais Cru, Fleurie, making wine with carbonic maceration and low sulfites.
LITTLEWINE caught up with Anne-Sophie last time she was in London
“It’s not just about producing a kilo of grapes. You observe a plant, you observe the ongoings of the year, you observe the wine that follows.”
People: Anne-Sophie Dubois
Place: Fleurie, Beaujolais, France
Varieties: Gamay & Gamaret
Farming: Organic with elements of biodynamics
Did You Know? Anne-Sophie also works with the variety, Gamaret, for her cuvée Ici et Là, which is 80% Gamaret and 20% Gamay. Gamaret was bred in Switzerland in the 1970s, by crossing Gamay with Reichensteiner, an obscure German grape variety that we wouldn’t have heard of if we hadn’t Googled it. Today, Gamaret is predominantly found in Switzerland, in the Valais, but some growers are experimenting with it further afield. Anne-Sophie planted a tiny parcel of just 200 square metres in 2011.
Anne-Sophie decided to pursue organic certification, which she achieved in 2018. The high elevation of her vineyards gives her a headstart in terms of balance for the vines (the region, like most, is suffering from the effects of global warming). Yields tend to be low, around 35hl/ha, which is fairly low in the grand scheme of things, but she emphasises,
“This is the natural yield for the vine, on these soils and using only natural fertilisers - from manure, for example. The vine is able to find its own harmony.”
It has taken her a long time to reach this balance; she believes her vineyards only found their balance perhaps in 2015. The grower who looked after the domaine before her did so with chemicals, and so despite the fact she worked organically since the start, it took her soils a long time to regain an equilibrium that translates into her wines.