Long live Burgundy!
Like many people who enjoy wine, I discovered the Burgundy region by traveling. As a VP in relations with the wine community, I was very fortunate and lucky to travel a lot, meeting extraordinary people and appreciating and tasting wine in its entire splendor.
When we think of Burgundy, all the great houses of this famous region immediately come to mind. Rousseau, Romanée-Conti, Bichot, to name only these, send us in a dream state. But Burgundy is also a good number of excellent producers who are more or less known, that have much to compete with the big names of the region. This region enjoys great fame, and with reason: Burgundy wines are living up to their reputation. On a trip a few years ago, I visited Jean-Claude Boisset’s house. After a site visit from cellar to vineyard, Gregory, winemaker, shared with me multiple facts and history elements. It was with such generosity that he took the time to discuss what he likes. Since that accomplice encounter, Gregory is one of those people that I love, from whom I talk to often and with whom I always enjoy meeting whenever the opportunity arises.
Speaking of history, that of Jean-Claude Boisset begun in the early 1960s. Son of two teachers (his parents), he created, while he was still very young, his first little wine house in Nuits-Saints-George, in a former Ursuline convent whose nuns had been driven off during the Revolution. Even today, in this great garden stuck between the strings of apple trees and cut yews, boxwood and fruit trees, we can almost hear their whispers in the silence. It is a magical, tranquil place that bears witness to its past. For them, the work takes on three basic principles: optimism, tenacity and luck.
Thanks to these rules, relationships with customers around the friendship, and about the love of wine and life are quickly and easily built. Today, he leaves room for his two children, whilst still remaining present for important moments. Generations succeed to each other and the energy remains… This is Gregory Patriat, winemaker, who is privileged to give life to the Domain now.
Gregory has the luxury of choosing his grapes. He works closely with winemakers, who accept no compromise, his very drastic selection criteria and requirements. Gregory is a reserved man, with the look of the young and eternal student, whilst still withholding great maturity, working with concentration and seriousness. It is said of him that he is very extremist in his choices with the innocence of the man for whom it is natural to be intransigent. He is a quite charming, good living and passionate man in what he does!
Speaking of passion, Gregory has a true one for motorized sports, specifically Karting competition. He likes to be aboard his own kart and do races all over France. It is a nice way for him to keep balance by having fun as a family, as he has passed on to his son all the techniques a great driver should have. All of course in safety and caution, whilst taking it seriously… it’s too important for Gregory! When one talks to him about his preferences for wine, his first choice stops, without any hesitation, to the Maison Leroy Volnay 1er cru Santenots 1969: “ Never drank anything that could equate to this product!”
As for the most beautiful place for him, in line of his many travels, he says without hesitation in a heartbeat: Scotland! For the splendor of the scenery, the friendly people, the beer, and without forgetting the famous Whisky.
Table pleasures aside, what he loves most, after France, is unquestionably the beautiful country of Italy. Everything is in the simplicity of the dishes and the rule of three ingredients whose quality is spectacular. This is, he said, the tastiest cuisine. And speaking of food, a perfect match for him: quail with a Chambolle Musigny, a success every time!
Gregory is not of those who, from an early age, knew he would be a winemaker. No link in his family could bring him to choose this area of activity. He likes to say it that it happened by chance. Like any young student who must earn money during the summer vacation, he knocked on the door of the Boisset family who gave him his chance, who believed in him. This opportunity led him to choose of the field of winemaking for his studies, in order to improve his knowledge and skills. He says that he’s learned a lot from M. Boisset, starting with the chance he gave him, the unexpected privilege that he gave him at his beginnings. By that granted confidence to the passion he transmitted to him, and by showing him the way of work and the great values of the company, he will be eternally grateful. Values such as respect, product quality, attention to do well and well… fun! After five years, he quickly became a rising star in Boisset and is now the recognized winemaker, highly appreciated and respected by all.
Pasquale Charland (Text translated from French to English by Xavier Larkin-Doucet)