Domaine Jean-Claude Lapalu -St.Etienne la Varenne
Jean-Claude Lapalu is part of the Beaujolais family of natural winemakers and his wines are among the very best in the region. He grew up in a family of winemakers but, unlike his father, who sold all his grapes to a cooperative, Jean-Claude soon realised he needed to direct the whole process. In the mid-1990s, he began planting plots Gamay-vines in the villages of Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly and Beaujolais. Today, he owns about 12 hectares of organically grown, old vines, averaging 60 to 80 years old and grown on the fine granite soils of the Beaujolais. Unafraid to bend or even break the rules, he practices winemaking with minimal intervention using as little sulphur dioxide as possible. The result is highly nuanced, high-quality red wines bursting with structure and concentration. His Vin de France wines that fall outside Beaujolais regulations are just as interesting as his excellent Beaujolais crus.
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