"Julien Sunier seems to be one of the main drivers for the revolution that is sweeping through Beaujolais at the moment."
-- Robert Parker
After graduating from school, Julien Sunier - a native of Dijon - went to work for Christophe Roumier. From there, he spent time in New Zealand and California working harvests in both hemispheres. When he returned to Burgundy, he worked alongside winemakers Nicolas Potel in Nuits-Saint-Georges and Jean-Claude Rateau in Beaune, where he solidified a passion for organic and biodynamic viticulture. Julien then spent the next five years managing a negociant and working with growers in all ten of the Cru Beaujolais villages, giving him an invaluable insight and understanding of the region.
In 2008, he purchased his domaine in Avenas, and three hectares of densely planted old vine parcels in Fleurie, Morgon and Régnié. The vineyards are farmed organically, and all of the vineyard work is done entirely by hand. At harvest, the fruit is vinified using traditional Beaujolais methods - whole cluster fermentation with native yeasts in concrete vats.
Once the fermentations are complete, the fruit is slowly and gently pressed using an ancient vertical press, and the wines are aged for up to 8 months in a combination of 3-9 year-old Burgundy barrels he purchases from his old friend, Chrisophe Roumier, and stainless steel tanks. The result is a line of fresh and lively wines with delicate tannin structure that are complex and precise.
"These are complex, thrilling examples of their type, laden with cool fruit and a sense of focus and precision. My only complaint? That Julien does not have a dozen wines for me to taste!"
-- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate
Wild Soul, Vin de France