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Domaine St-Cyr

A fourth generation vigneron, Raphaël’s great-grandfather founded the domaine. At the bright-eyed, youthful age of 22, Raphaël took over the domaine, converting it to organic farming straightaway. It is now amongst the largest organic estate in Beaujolais in terms of acreage, which means Raphaël is paving a path of greener grasses for other winemakers to step foot on. 

LITTLEWINE visited Raphaël at his cellar

Header photograph kindly supplied by Paris Wine Co

People:  Raphaël St-Cyr

Place:  Beaujolais, France

Varieties:  Gamay, Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc

Hectares:  28 

Farming:  Organic (certified)

Wines: Click here

Did You Know?  Raphaël tells us, "Moulin-à-Vent has this reputation for heavy, big, structured wines, but it's the winemaking style, not the terroir that created this image. With great terroirs, like the pink granite that my parcel sits on, you don't need to "make" the wine with punchdowns and extraction. That's not what I look for in my wines; my Moulin is so fresh and elegant. The wines make themselves on their own."

Pét-Nat & Pied de Cuve

Raphaël also makes a petnat Gamay, a rarity. Sparkling Gamay isn’t yet permitted under AOC laws in the region, so it has to be labelled as a “Vin de France.” 

For La Galoche (his entry-level Beaujolais) and for the pét-nat, Raphael creates a pied de cuve. This is a process by which he brings in some bunches from his Bellevue plot a couple of weeks before harvest, to create a starter fermentation. By doing this, he ensures that the natural yeast population will be healthy, as La Galoche is a large production wine, so it provides him with a form of insurance while remaining natural. Meanwhile for the petnat, which finishes fermentation, it means he can ensure that no stray yeasts will create “off” aromas.

 

“Organic viticulture is growing in the region,” Raphaël comments. “Many young people are beginning to realise that it’s the way forward, but...

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