We're all entrepreneurs. The winemakers for whom we work and the consultants at Oenoteam. Being entrepreneurs means giving our all to a project and grouping together to achieve a common goal. It's about transmitting knowledge and passion in a durable way. It's about trusting yourself and each other, and always respecting peoples' differences. Strong relationships are an absolute necessity for success.
I can express myself through 19 grape varieties of every colour, through organic, biodynamic and conventional agricultural techniques, through famous estates or little-known ones. In each case, beyond the human, technical and financial aspects, the objective is to position or consolidate the estate within its own environment - in terms of its geography, competitors, management systems - whilst taking into account its DNA and its people. Every estate deserves the equal attention and commitment, so that's my common denominator.
I am sharing with you my vision for three properties for each of which my involvement has had an obvious and different kind of impact. These are wines that have found their place, their balance and their identity in a global sense.
Owner: Guillaume Claverie
Surface area: 10 hectares
Number of wines: 1 (AOC Saint-Emilion Grand Cru)
Consultant Oenologist: Julien Belle since 2013
Here, we bring together technical work and modernity with expressiveness and aromatic clarity. To achieve this we first had to get to know each other. To exchange and identify the unique character of each plot of vines, avoiding the easy option that a property with all its vines in a single block allows. Our aim is to produce an excellent wine that everyone can access.
Trust is our keyword. Each member of the Haut-Veyrac staff, from the vineyard team to the wine tourism team and the owners is regularly consulted. Each person has a voice and reflects the multi-facetted environment in which the property is evolving today. We listen to consumers and work with trust to bring out the diversity of a singular property.
Owner: Vignobles Castel
Surface area: 65 hectares
Number of wines: 1 (Côtes de Bourg Red AOC)
Consultant Oenologist: Julien Belle since 2014
Here are 65 hectares of incredibly diverse terroir. Collaborating with Antoine de Oliviera, Technical Director, we have established a relationship of trust with a real human dimension. We concentrate on the core identity of Château du Bousquet, adjusting and fine-tuning our goals vintage after vintage, and respecting the unique character of Côtes de Bourg. It is crucial to reveal its distinctive characteristics: expressive aromatics and precise tannins. The blending and ageing processes therefore require constant, rigorous work. The château is already a reference for quality in Côtes de Bourg, and my job is to reinforce the signature style given by the estate’s very particular terroir.
Owners: Xavier and Caroline Perommat
Surface area: 26 hectares
Number of wines: 3 (2 Graves Red AOC, 2 Graves Dry White AOC, 1 Cérons AOC)
Consultant Oenologist: Julien Belle since 2008
This adventure begins in some of Bordeaux’s most historic but lesser-known vineyards, which are staunchly defended by many in the winemaking profession.
Since 2008, I have accompanied Xavier and Caroline Perromat (from Haut Bailly) through a family transition that began in 2012 as they embarked on a new adventure to restore this noble property to its former glory. The wines are emblematic, with something of a Chablis or Sancerre touch to them, but with Graves at their core and an unusual range of subtleties. This Cérons-specific character is upheld wholeheartedly by Caroline and Xavier, who manage the property with real energy and dynamism.
We spend time together, we discuss, we ask questions and we move forward with exactness. The result might be called a Cérons in the Graves, or a Graves in Cérons. Whichever way you choose to look at it, there is nothing else quite like it.
In-the-field oenologists, as we are at Oenoteam, are at the core of an estate's technical and economic workings. We ensure that viticulture advances, supporting qualified and passionate people so that vineyards remain healthy as they are passed down, and wines guard their identity.
I have selected and been selected by my sixty clients because we have something in common. Together we struggle for an equilibrium that nature is constantly disturbing, in the knowledge that we will always come closer through perseverance and knowledge of our craft.
The three properties I present to you make characterful, individual wines. Each of them has a special something (you might call it soul). That’s why in my job no two days, two people, two stories or two wines are ever the same.
Owner: Denis Barraud
Surface area: 2.5 hectares
Number of wines: 3 (Vignobles Denis Barraud: Lynsolence AOC Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Les Gravières AOC Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, La Cour d’Argent AOC Bordeaux Supérieur)
Consultant Oenologist: Stéphane Toutoundji since 2015
This small cuvée of grand cru merlot, grown on a gravelly soil that is rich in iron, gives quantities of less than 25 hl/ha with grapes that are rich and concentrated. Like his wines, Denis Barraud is a vigneron with character.
We have been collaborating since 2015, working mainly on the identity of the wines. In the same way as his winery, built upon stilts, rises above a sea of perfectly tended vines, Denis wants to raise up every one of his standards: to maintain a vineyard of irreproachable quality, to work with precision in the winery, and to age the wines in a way that reveals their identity.
Owner: The Vayron Family
Surface area: 9 hectares
Number of wines: 1
Consultant Oenologist: Stéphane Toutoundji since 2012
The Vayron family and the team that works with them are in perfect sync. Together, they make up the main ‘pillars’ of Bourgneuf.
“The foundations are sturdy because this is a magical terroir, because Bourgneuf has been passed down eight generations of winegrowers, and because every action is the result of long, thoughtful contemplation and discussion. The fresh eye of Frédérique Vayron has encouraged me to rethink the pruning process, plot selection, ageing, blending, and more. Without either one of us, it would almost feel like Bourgneuf were missing a letter from its name.”
Owner: Grégory Lovato
Surface area: 50 hectares
Number of wines: 3 (AOC Bordeaux)
Consultant Oenologist: Stéphane Toutoundji since 2008
Owner, Grégory Lovato, has always known Lajarre. His grand-parents bought the property in 1973, as traders producing their own wine. Grégory was the one in charge of bottling it. We have restructured the vineyard, increasing planting density and re-dividing up the various plots. We were looking for additional body and tannins and began by replanting to keep up the high average age of the vines.
“Château Lajarre is a real success. We are moving forwards with utter confidence and in high spirits. We are complementary when it comes to tasting, and everything is getting better over time. Eléonore and Gaspard are two fantastic cuvées, with names that remind us of the family’s heritage. Our mantra: ‘Always think ahead’!"
I'm very fortunate to be among the next generation of in-the-field oenologists who are in contact with the technical teams every day. My vision and understanding of this profession have been built through teamwork at Oenoteam. Like my associates, I spend three quarters of my time at the estates but oenological analysis always supports my actions. The lab is my research center, the soil my testing ground.
I consult for a highly diverse group of Bordeaux estates, from entry-level Bordeaux to Premier Grands Crus Classés. My aim is for each property I work with to have its own identity and wines that withstand the ages with perfect integrity. Time is the silent test for Bordeaux’s finest wines, and an oenologist’s success in helping to constantly improve quality can only be judged over many years.
I want to present three estates to you, all of which are special to me for different reasons and all with one thing in common: terroir that is treated with respect.
Owner : The Wertheimer Family
Surface area: 34 hectares
Number of wines: 2 (AOC Saint-Emilion)
Consultant Oenologist: Thomas Duclos since 2012
I first discovered Château Canon in 2000, while I was a student, and it was Canon that first made me want to work in this field. The property has a real sense of identity and style, and I immediately felt the need to understand how and why the wines were so special.
I work with closely with Nicolas Audebert, Estate Manager, and Stéphane Bonnasse, Technical Director. The team stands for and demands high precision in everything that we do, from fixing specific harvest dates for each plot to sorting every barrel of press-wine. Chateau Canon is as timeless and anti-conformist as its wines are balanced and delicate. I firmly believe in Canon, and am happy to be a cog in the wheel of a magnificent property whose best years still lie ahead.
Owner: The Sorges family
Surface area: 300 hectares
Number of wines: Sold in bulk
Consultant Oenologist: Thomas Duclos since 2007
Here the vines are machines of production. I know the Sorges family very well and have been coming here for around 10 years. They started small 60 years ago, with just 6 hectares; today they are one of the key players in the quality Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur market. Efficiency and streamlining are buzzwords and we must capitalise on everything. The Sorges have equipped the 60,000 hectolitre vat room with high-performance equipment to improve quality. The latest addition was the integration of thermo-vinification tools.
It is an estate where I strive to guarantee consistent quality and the reliability that comes with a well-made finished product, without perceptible variation between vintages. Thanks to their hard work, it’s a success.
Owner: Vignobles Jean-Pierre Estager
Surface area: 10 hectares
Number of wines: 1 (AOC Pomerol)
Consultant Oenologist: Thomas Duclos since 2012
Making wine in Pomerol is sacred. In this small appellation every terroir is pushed to express its utmost identity, and to be distinct from its closest neighbours. Here everything is about honesty; and perhaps more so than anywhere else, the vintage counts for everything. La Cabanne is in the Estager family’s DNA; over many generations, they have developed an understanding and mastery of the terroir. We must work together to become ever more precise, ensuring that the wines remain fresh and silky 30 years down the line.
In 2018, I joined Stéphane, Thomas and Julien to involve myself in an oenological project that excites us: reinforcing the link between oenological analysis and the in-the-field work by creating a state-of-the-art laboratory as a technical tool to help winemakers anticipate and make better decisions.
My attachment to the land, and years working on a thesis, led me to become passionate about analysis and orientate my career towards this domain.
Having run and developed a modern laboratory for 12 years, and driven by a desire to share my knowledge, I also became a consulting Professor at Bordeaux Sciences Agro and an expert scientist certified by the national Ministry for Education, Higher Education and Research.
My role within the team:
To provide and develop precision analytical services to support decision-making.
To work in a scientific and analytical monitoring capacity to drive improvements in the analytical tools, always with the same objective: to guide the practician in their technical choices and in their search for oenological precision.
As a group of 4 consultants, we have a strong unified vision of technical analysis: it is a decision-making tool that should form part of the relationship between wine producer, laboratory and winemaking consultant. We stand by the importance of analytical monitoring, which enables us to understand a vast range of different client-specific variables and make the right decision in every instance.
I give advice to properties on behalf of Oenoteam and am in charge of the laboratory. My job is to direct clients towards the services that are best suited to their needs: analysis, winemaking products, oenological assistance etc. Having previously worked in wine consultancy and distribution, I am mindful of the commercial aspects of winemaking, including production targets and the product profiles of the wines.
Following my Doctorate in Microbiology on analysing microorganisms of alteration, I worked in cell transfer at the Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin in Dijon, then joined the Oenoteam laboratory in 2017 as head of Microbiology Development. I provide clients with my expertise in microbiology to help them to test fermentations and ageing processes with precision. I also accompany them with putting in place experiments and tracking results. Beyond these daily roles, I monitor scientific and technical practises to ensure constant improvement in the quality of our services.
Following a university course in Chemistry, and passionate about oenology, I decided to pursue a career in this field. Having graduated from the Éole Nationale Supérieure d'Agronomie in Toulouse, and following diverse experiences in production, I decided to orient myself towards analysis. I am in charge of chemical analytical development.
Coming from the world of chemistry and the laboratory, I joined Oenoteam in 2013. From receiving clients to carrying out analysis and quality control tests, my approach is rigorous. It is derived from a genuine interest in what I do.
I appreciate the diversity of my position, dealing with the administrative side of things. Motivated by contact with people, I ensure that everyone within Oenoteam remains in sync. After 20 years in the company, the objective remains the same: listen carefully to our clients and respond well and efficiently to their requests.
I bridge the gap between the laboratory and our clients’ properties. Our sample delivery and collection service was set up 4 years ago and is part of a pledge to support clients as closely as possible.
Based in Libourne, our laboratory was completely renewed in 2012 and extended in 2018 to meet our demanding performance standards. Thanks to our sample collection service, we are able to cover all wine-growing regions of the Gironde and Bergerac. The excellent results and responsive service that our clients receive are fully in line with our broader philosophy.
New investments every year ensure that we remain at the cutting edge of oenological science. All of our analytics are double-checked so as to assure accurate results. Innovation is a core focus. Thanks to a carefully chosen, wide range of equipment (much of it in duplicate to ensure that we are able to meet high demand at key moments in the winemaking cycle and to lower the risk of technical failure) we offer a wide range of services in different areas: from grapes to wine, but also vegetal material and other materials that are in contact with the wine.