Bedouet Vigneron is a family journey.
Henri Bedouet, born in 1899, a cooper and share-cropping wine-grower (sharing half of the harvest with the owner of the vineyards), took the first step of this journey with his wife Agathe. His son Henri, born in 1931, joined the journey in 1957. He began his career as a share-cropper, then began renting vineyards as a farmer in 1977. Alongside Marie-Jo, a native of the region, they continued the journey, always looking forward.
Michel, born in 1960, joined the journey in 1985, purchased the vineyards in 1990, and is still continuing forward. Following Sénèque’s magnificent quote – “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult” – he began converting the vineyard to organic agriculture in 2010; he harvested his first organic grapes in 2013.
Having been a wine-grower since 1985, I believed that reasoned wine culture could be a true concept. But reading Descartes, I became aware that I was running in circles, and that I was just relieving my conscience with a “better” kind of pollution. Now that I practice organic agriculture, I am rediscovering my profession as wine-grower.
The word “agriculture” is formed of the words “agros” and “culture”; this last developed from “culte”, derived from the Latin word “colere”, which means “to honour”. To cultivate is therefore to honour the earth in order to make it fertile. I respect the balance of nature. I bring life back to the soil to provide good living conditions for the vines, so that the vines provide me with healthy, high-quality grapes. That is how I am able to produce, quite simply, wines that fully express the potential of these great terroirs with finesse.
My philosophy is to produce real wines: wines with great minerality; living wines. Wines that consistently offer a pure expression of the terroirfrom nose to palate. “Neither alcoholism nor elitism,” Epicurus might have quipped, inviting us to such virtuous delights. I produce wines in my own image: they are simply conveyors of camaraderie and joy. I consider business to be a durable, equitable exchange of goods based on shared values. That is why I labour each plot of my vineyards with the same attention, always doing my best.
Wine-growing work is thorough and precise, because it is here, within the grapes, that the wine first takes shape. Organic agriculture, working the soil, abstaining from the use of any synthetic chemical product, and taking an approach based on the life of the soil and vines: such is both the foundation and the guarantor of this authenticity.
Based on the principle that wine begins to take shape within the grape, and that the wine should be the purest expression of its terroir, the objective of our wine-making approach is to bring this wine forth, and age it, with a subtle, elegant touch. We seek the best harvest date to optimise the potential of a given vintage in the wine-making process. Our simple, traditional wine-making method consists of pneumatic pressing and static must settling with filtration and the reincorporation of deposits (big lees), maintaining the temperature between 18° and 20° C. The wine is matured on fine lees until we bottle it ourselves at the estate.