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Xavier Benier

After having graduated from the wine academy in Beaune in the early 1990s, Xavier Benier created a bit of a fuzz around his négoce business, when he insisted on making unfined and unfiltered wines with little or no sulphur added. Something that was a text book faut pas in those days and of course something that would make any winemaker in the local area shake his head! In 2003 he took over a hectare of land that he inherited from his grandfather and in the coming years he bought another 4 hectares of vineyards. Today he has made a name of himself in the natural wine world even though his neighbors still think he’s crazy.

Xavier cultivates his land by himself, only aided by an old tractor and a group of retired winemakers from the area that help out during pruning and harvest – one of them is his grandfather. He also buys organic and biodynamic grapes in smaller quantities from what he claims is some rather famous friends of his in Beaujolais and Burgundy. So who knows where the grapes from his Bourgogne Blanc might be coming from?!  

Xavier is in many ways an extraordinary natural winemaker who makes wines that are always on point and know exactly where they are going but at the same time remain alive and super interesting.   

A good example of this is his Beaujolais Villages Nouveau that he makes every year and releases on the third weekend of November, a wine that he makes from that very vineyard with 100-150 year-old Gamay that he inherited from his grandfather back in 2003. According to Xavier the reason why he does this is that this little vineyard is one of his most reliable plots, seeing that the grapes alway ripen early and never cause him any troubles during the vinification process. And in this way he’s able to make perfectly natural Beaujolais Nouveau and have it ready by the end of October every year!  

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