PORTRAITS

It may seem reductive to talk about just 3 winegrowers when representing more than 300 families! But it would be difficult to introduce everyone. And you would be surprised to see how their itineraries, their values and their ambitions coincide. Behind each story there is courage, tenacity, love of the open spaces, farming skills, sharing, solidarity and much more.

Évelyne Jusselin

Winegrower in Saint-Boil,
winery administrator since 2014

Évelyne has big blue eyes that savour you like a ripe Pinot Noir grape. She is a local girl, coming from a long line of farmers and who almost went "urban" but nature drew her back, under particularly difficult circumstances and it hasn’t been easy. Her grandparents owned 0.5 hectares of vines for their own use which her parents increased to 8 hectares. These are the parents who raised her with a strong work ethic and who, through a “passion” for the quest of the perfect meat, chose animal rearing with a herd of 200 Charolais cattle. In 1998 Évelyne went into business with her mother who had come from a wine-growing family. Évelyne went back to school to learn about wine production and understand the milieu. She could have been satisfied with just cultivating the vines and delivering grapes to the winery. Instead of this she chose to get involved in collective projects, and, in particular, meeting and convincing clients in the tasting room during her weekends. Since 2008 she has fully committed to a vineyard covering 18.5 hectares. And now, on a daily basis, there are three people vigorously carrying out the necessary tasks in the vineyard classified as Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise with a little bit of Montagny Village. Half red, half white. Aligoté, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There is plenty of variety. Évelyne likes to remember that wine is the natural partner to gastronomy, and we believe in sharing here. Vineyard work is very physical, you have to be there all the time, imagine that pruning alone takes four months - with three pairs of hands! Her daughter and her companion have recently joined her, adding new energy, but they are also training in Beaune. Proud of her work, she repeats endlessly that “nothing can be taken for granted” and she should know!

Fabrice Maître

Winegrower in Jully-lès-Buxy,
winery administrator since 2015

Fabrice embodies a new generation of winegrowers associated with the winery. The cooperative spirit is already in his genes; his great-grandfather was one of the founders of the cooperative winery (1931) and his father Gérard was the emblematic president from 1994 to 2013. Encouraged by the evolution in agricultural mechanization, he put his pivotal drive into the estate, starting in 1968. With a professional viticutural diploma in his pocket, Fabrice set up shop in 2001, at the age of 22 and full of conviction. His first decision was to enlarge the size of the vineyard, gradually increasing it from 15 to 35 hectares. About half is Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise, the other half is Village and Premier Cru plots across Montagny, Mercurey, Rully and Santenay forming a delicate, difficult puzzle and requiring a lot of finesse. To run a vineyard such as this it is necessary to have a few reliable people and to resort to seasonal help. But Fabrice is the enterprising, daring kind who will not back down easily. It must also be said that he loves wine. The word “loves” is probably understatement…discover, taste, compare, understand etc. are perhaps more applicable and tasting is a joy that helps you grow. He has built a wine fan’s cellar, with bottles from all regions of France, which he generously shares with other enthusiasts. He loves to learn and is determined. His secret mission is to show to independent winegrowers that one can make excellent wines at a fair price, in all honesty. He also hopes that the relatively unknown Côte Chalonnaise will benefit from a better profile. In the wines he promotes one finds the scent of villages, hamlets, valleys, woodlands, stones, and all sorts of inhabitants. A job that he could also have tried is that of stonemason...

François Legros

Winegrower in Saint-Vallerin,
winery administrator since 1994,
president since 2013

François “fell into winemaking” when he was little. One of his grandfathers was an independent winemaker at a time when one could almost live through self-sufficiency and where one made wine for oneself. His other grandfather was one of the cooperative winery founders (1931) and was also its president. He thus inherited the two bloodlines, that of cooperation and that of being an independent. Until 1989 his father shared his time between 12 hectares of vines, his herd of 100 cows and cereal farming. François initially chose a career in mechanics due to a burning interest. This passion for tools has never left him and still pushes him to innovate and to compare with things elsewhere. In 1989, however, he didn’t hesitate to change because he has vineyard DNA in him, and it’s not an intellectual decision, it’s in your gut. At the age of 28 and newly-married, he returned to his origins to take over operations; he will never forget his first year of “active service” in 1991; this was the year of the big freeze and a very small crop. Many years of sacrifice later and without ever losing heart, he has acquired vineyards that now cover 16 hectares. Classified mainly as Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise with a very small amount of Montagny Village. That means many hillsides with steep slopes and a permanent challenge for the men and their tools. François has always preferred vines to wine, even though he knows that to perpetuate the noble profession of winemaker, it is necessary to invest oneself in commerce. He has chosen to meet the challenges of the winery by fighting for his beliefs; anticipate, build trust, train young people, cultivate new ideas, experiment... he has plenty to keep him busy, and that's what he likes.

Victor Dutartre

Winegrower in Bissey-sous-Cruchaud,
winery administrator since 2019

Victor likes to live life to the fullest. He’s a young man full of enthusiasm and knowledge. He joined the cooperative when he was just 19 and the energy he brings is palpable for all who cross his path. He grew up in the Côte Chalonnaise’s beautiful landscapes, which have always been a source of inspiration for him. Victor is passionate about drawing and photography. And about the region’s nourishing soil too. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all winegrowers. Like his fathers before him, working in the vineyards came naturally to him. The family farm is primarily located in Chardonnay, with plots in Montagny 1er Cru, Montagny 1er Cru “Montcuchot”, Bourgogne Aligoté and Crémant de Bourgogne, as well as Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Pinot Noir. Victor is someone of great integrity who invests a lot in his profession as a winegrower. Come rain or shine, and sometimes from dawn to dusk, Victor carefully shapes his vines in the hope of growing beautiful fruit. But he wouldn’t want to change that for anything in the world. Every day, he enjoys the breathtaking view of Buxy village and its surroundings, and that is something he couldn’t give up. According to Victor, boredom isn’t an issue in this profession as it’s constantly evolving: his grandfather witnessed the arrival of straddle tractors, his father saw the emergence of organic wines, and Victor himself witnessed the birth of robotics! He loves discovering the world a little more each day: experiencing new tastes, meeting people from different backgrounds and travelling to other beautiful regions in France. He likes to stray from well-known paths and spend time experiencing life beyond the vineyard. Victor has been paralysed down his left side since birth. This means he’s unable to carry out certain jobs in the vineyard but his father, employees and other members of the cooperative (whom he considers as his second family) are always there to lend a hand. Victor is proud to be a Director at Cave de Buxy Cooperative, working on a bigger, collaborative project, because he knows that together we go further. He focuses on what he enjoys and knows the best way to work with plants.

LE PARIS D'ALEXIS

Alexis is a former radio and TV journalist who worked in media for over 15 years. You’d often hear his reports on Europe1, SudRadio, France Bleu and other stations. In 2017, he created “Le Paris d’Alexis” on social media, initially focusing on the best places to go in Paris. He soon expanded the concept to cover “anywhere you can eat and drink” across the whole country. You can find him on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and his own website, where he shares tips, his latest discoveries and favourite places to go in the world of gastronomy. He is passionate and curious about food, and has over 30,000 subscribers across different networks.

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