Juliénas is the furthest north cru of the Beaujolais and has a unique terroir from the better known crus to the south. Yann was inspired to produce Juliénas because the terroir is rather unknown and also because he forged a relationship with a passionate grower of grapes in the village. Following a small harvest in 2015 and a catastrophic frost in 2016, Yann Bertrand decided to incorporate a micro-négociant approach into his family domaine. Yann’s goal for these wines is to collaborate with serious and passionate growers to support sustainable agriculture in the region and produce the same quality wines as those from the domaine.
VINEYARD NAME: La Bottière
SOIL TYPE: Sandstone, schist, and white clay
VINES PLANtED IN: Average 55 years
VINEYARD SIZE: 1 ha
ALTITUDE: 200m to 450m
UP TO 10% CHARDONNAY!
Cold carbonic maceration at 10-12ºC (50-54ºF)
7-9 months in very old barrels and demi-muids, minimum 10 years old. 30% in demi-muids and 70% in 225 L barrels for a duration of 7-9 months. Racked by gravity.
Bottled unfiltered by gravity following the lunar calendar
Growing up in Fleurie, Yann Bertrand never thought he would become a winemaker. He briefly enrolled in commerce at a local university, then travelled around the French Alps for a few years. When applying for local jobs, he noted that he was the son of a vigneron and soon found himself working at wine bars and wine shops, surrounded by passionate wine geeks and artisan winemakers who often came to deliver wine themselves. Tasting wines in a new way, he began to ask himself some questions, and eventually decided that the metier of a winemaker would be interesting to him if he pursued it with the same passion as the role models he encountered.
Returning to the Beaujolais, Yann began to learn from the incredible circle of producers that he never knew before, including well-known people like Jean Foillard and Yvon Metras, as well as the behind-the-scenes guru Jacques Neauport (who was the quiet right-hand to the legendary Jules Chauvet).
All of the vines are farmed organically and located in a single 7.5 hectare block known as Grand Pré. The vineyards are 30-110 years old, planted on extremely fine sandy granite soils, and all winemaking is done using cold carbonic whole cluster fermentations that were developed in the Beaujolais, as well as no added SO2. Yann's parents had been slowly moving in the direction of organic viticulture since they took over the family domaine in 1992, and in 2013, the entire vineyard was certified organic. Additionally, Yann took on 1.5 hectares to farm on his own using biodynamic principles. Thanks to incredible farming and knack for Gamay, Yann Bertrand has justifiably become one of the most sought-after producers in the region.
Following two unusually small harvests, Yann created a line of négociant wines in 2016 following strict criteria that all vineyards must be plowed and farmed without any chemical pesticides or fertilizers. The grapes are always purchased “sur pied” and harvested by Yann and his team, and vinification is done with native yeasts. Elevage and bottling take place at the domaine, just as with every other wine produced at the estate.