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Jean-François Ganevat

Maker of some of the rarest natural wines wines in the world, Ganevat is famous for his work with Savagnin, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Trousseau & Poulsard. In southern Jura, he works with many different soil types, in particular the famous blue marne. 

LITTLEWINE visited Jean-François at his home in the Jura.

 

“Through tasting various wines of our region, and further afield, I had noticed that something seemed to be missing in the wines where the farming involved chemical herbicides, pesticides, fertilisers etc. Something was missing in terms of harmony and balance, whereas the wines of my grandfather and great-grandfather had this balance.”

 

People:  Jean-François & sister Anne Ganevat

Place:  Jura, France

Varieties:  Chardonnay, Savagnin, Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir. He also holds the key to a couple of ancient plots where he fiercely safeguards approximately 25 varieties of ancient, indigenous semi-forgotten varieties such as Petit Béclan, Gros Béclan, Portugais Bleu, Isabelle and Enfariné. 

Hectares:  13, which encompass the domaine wines. He also sources organic fruit from friends for their négoce labels

Farming:  Biodynamic

Wines: Click here

Did You Know?  The secret ingredient to the Ganevat wines is time; particularly for the white wines, which almost always age for two or more years on the lees.

Amphorae in the cellar

The Mystery of Wine

“We may be drinking wine from the same bottle, but we’re not really drinking the same wine.” Jean-François points to my fingers, wrapped around the stem of my glass, and then back to his own. “The energy of the person... that changes the wine. We all have different experiences.”  

Every season brings with it its mysteries. In the winter, Jean-François explains, the wines’ tannins are marked. Then, as the cellar warms up, the tannins somehow “fall out” of the wine. The red wines are always incredibly pale. They are made according to the 'infusion' method (the grapes are treated like a tea bag during fermentation - i.e. extraction is extremely gentle). But even so, even Syrah/Grenache from the South of France (Ganevat's négoce label) is a shimmering pale bronze colour. He sees us looking at it with our eyebrows furrowed, and he laughs.

“It’s a mystery, I know! I think our yeasts do a lot of that. Dark wine… well… it just doesn’t happen here.”

“I think I had realised that synthetic chemicals did not equal quality. There was a disconnect. So, like Pierre Overnoy, I decided to...

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