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Sébastien and Charlotte Congretel are the brains behind L'Épicurieux — a biodynamic winery situated across 4.5 hectares in Régnié in the rolling hills of Beaujolais, nestled in diorite and pink granite soils. Their approach to winemaking is simple: respect the Earth and respect the vines.

"When cultivating anything – vines, flowers, plants – you have to respect nature and the environment. It was a natural step for us since it’s how we raise our kids; we imagined applying the same principles to our vines."

People:  Sébastien and Charlotte Congretel

Place:  Beaujolais, France

Varieties:  Gamay

Hectares:  4.5 

Farming:  Biodynamic

Did You Know? They bought a parcel with Antoine and Julien Sunier, two other organic stars of the region, and have been creating a huge almost ‘island’ with trees protecting it.

"I wasn’t very academic as a kid—I learnt by doing. So I really needed to play around to work it out. These days, we continue today to share our learnings on the subject of organics; we try to continually evolve as we’re aware that the way we’re working now is a rather basic method of farming organically. We’re trying to push it further; we’re researching and testing cover crops, and we're thinking about introducing trees amongst the vines."

But, as with anything, growth takes time. It’s an ongoing process, even with organics which they have been practising for over six years. 

"We've bought between two and three acres of wild wasteland, which used to have vines, but has now been derelict for ten years. In the winter we will start to plant here – I’d like to plant some trees. For the parcels that we farm right now, there’s already quite a lot of vegetation everywhere with trees surrounding them, protecting them.”

"We feel it’s important to find vineyards that are secluded; protected from the left, from the right, from every direction… This means the vines will be safer in a sense. It creates an environment in which biodiversity can...

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