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Julie Balagny

Julie Balagny might have become a celebrity in the wine world — but she remains one of the most humble, generous and thoughtful winemakers. 

Having left her native Paris in 1999 to take a job as a winemaker in the South of France, Julie arrived in Beaujolais ten years later and, cliché as it may be, the rest really was history. It’s not too often that two esteemed winemakers in the world (Yvon Métras and Jean-Francois Ganevat) call you and say,

“Hey Julie. There’s a spot in Fleurie with some available parcels. You in?”

We think you know the answer to that question already.

"I say thank you for this life every day. Even when things are constantly changing, I’ve always been saved by the bell at the last possible moment."

People:  Julie Balagny

Place:  Beaujolais, France

Varieties:  Gamay


Farming:  Biodynamic

Wines: Click here

Did You Know? Her Moulin-à-Vent parcel sits on granite and quartz soils, unusual for the Cru where the soils are often manganese dominant. It also has a cooler mesoclimate, meaning her Moulin wine is often nearer to 12/12.5%, whereas her Fleurie can reach 14%. 

Popette, Julie's canine companion

Julie works biodynamically, but gave up her Demeter certification in 2015. She explains,

“I gave up my certification because they asked me to start buying organic rhubarb root and buckthorn. I buy my buckthorn from a local supplier who sells foraged produce, so it's wild and therefore not possible to certify. As a result I was asked to instead buy from someone further but whose produce was certified. For me, it’s definitely better that it’s local. I've had a lot of instances like that happen.”

Animals have always been an integral part of Julie’s vision for her winery. She tells us; 

“I’ve had my cow since the start, I have sheep, I have a donkey, chickens… It’s really important for me to re-introduce this kind of agriculture into winemaking today.”

"In 2010 I bought sheep and put them near the parcels. There’s a TV programme in France called ‘30 million friends’. It’s about people who rescue abandoned animals. I stopped by the centre and found my 4 sheep. Everyone mocked me at first, but now...

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