Chablis: Patrick Piuze
This week I attended a wine tasting that showcased the winery Patrick Piuze from the Burgundy region and Louis Mitjavile from the Bordeaux region. I was lucky to have been seated at Patrick’s table, maybe because he is a fellow Canadian and definitely a”Crazy Canuck”.
Patrick is a natural born entertainer who grew up in the Montreal area of Quebec. As he stated in his brief story of his beginnings, he didn’t like school and school didn’t like him so as soon as he finished high school he left on his adventures to contemplate life and have some fun. He ended up in Australia spending most of his time surfing till his money started running out. To bump up the bank account he got work in a vineyard and found something that peaked his interest.
He returned to Montreal and ran a wine bar for 2 years prior to moving to Burgundy in 2000. His first harvest was spent with Olivier Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet. Patrick honed his skills as winemaker for 4 years on Laflaive’s new Chablis project. He began building a reputation for his winemaking skills while working for Jean-Marc Brocard at Verget. This would be the place where his expertise in the terroirs of Chablis was truly born. It was then that Patrick decided to venture out on his own and develop his own label. Patrick is the kind of person that believes in the “go big or go home” philosophy because in his first vintage in 2008 he produced 20 different bottlings, all Chablis except one.
Patrick works with only growers who are practicing sustainable viticulture. He buys only the fruit and not must or juice and it is all hand picked. Many of the vines are situated on fairly steep slopes in a clay/ limestone soil which provides the unique characteristics of his wines. His winery is a two man operation where he and his partner Sylvie are producing some of the best Chablis in the world. He believes in the hands-off approach to winemaking where indigenous yeasts are used and nothing is added or taken away. He believes in showcasing the specific terroirs of Chablis and the Chardonnay grape is the ideal catalyst .Some of the vines he uses are 50-70 years old. The reason he produces so many different varieties is that he believes that the taste changes with the slope of the land along with the direction of the sun and the changes in the soil. Most producers would blend these different areas to produce a single variety but Patrick is helping us to hone our palates and understand the Chardonnay grape in it’s purest form.
Patrick's unique winemaking style and the quality of his production has brought interest from some of the most famous restaurants around the globe. His wine is sold in 30 countries and is in many Michelin Stared restaurants not only in France but at places like the French Laundry in the Napa Valley. They produce 110,000 bottles per year and even though his 2012 is not even picked, it is completely sold out. Amazing Wine!!!
Chablis: Patrick Piuze
Friday, May 18, 2012