Why this magazine ?


Every wine-lover knows it : beyond the pleasure of taste, wine is the fruit of work, talent, inspiration and without a doubt also a little luck ...

A unique editorial concept...

Every wine-lover knows it : beyond the pleasure of taste, wine is the fruit of work, talent, inspiration and without a doubt also a little luck. How is this creative process determined, conceived and imagined ? A process which, despite its nowadays fully mastered technical aspect, manages to maintain a dimension of mystery, bordering on mysticism. How can an ingredient be transformed into something so lively through working, crushing and fermenting ? An ingredient that permanently evolves and reveals different stories, from one acre to another, from year to year, decades after being bottled.

Every wine-lover has dreamed of one day venturing over to the other side of the fence; to abandon a fruitful but futile career, to roll up their sleeves, to get closer to the earth, to produce for pleasure and to find real meaning. The world in which we live throws us into a whirlpool of consumption, production and of always wanting more. The earth is a refuge.
And if there is, above all else, a world in which the fundamental values of the earth are displayed with a luminescent clarity, it is the world of vineyards. Earth, land, even roots. The earth as refuge, but with land radiating out throughout the world.

Today, France exports its greatest wines to every continent. It has also learned to discover and love those of the New World and elsewhere. This magazine, dedicated to vineyards both at home and abroad, echoes the promise and prowess of their vines. It tells of individual successes as well as of the wine dynasties, the finest bottles, sources of all superlatives, just like young vintages called upon to become greats. Because the point in common, as always, is the people. The Vigneron magazine puts people with wine in their hearts at its own. Whether they pore over their vines, or are just happy to administer and determine the economic strategy of their domain, a winemaker is a reflection of the same world.

A winemaker is the keeper of cultural values, but also of human values : helping each other, carrying out exemplary work, passing on knowledge. Passing on a name, passing on expertise and finally passing on heritage.

A winemaker plays host to essential qualities : courage, selflessness, perseverance, ingenuity, determination and a sense of responsibility. The winemakers contain a wealth of talents, all different, all unique, as reflections of fascinating personalities, human stories, of lives that can often surprise and even astonish. Whether they have inherited a domain or whether they have radically altered the course of their lives by giving up a first career to embrace their passion, winemakers make their land an anchor. A compass. A truth to guide them.

A winemaker, feet rooted in the soil, earthy and close to their roots, is proud to continue something that has meaning, that is to be tasted with emotion. But while the wine market explodes all the way out to the Far East, the gentleman farmer winemaker is also a businessperson, travelling the world to sell the fruits of their labour, out to conquer China and its new enthusiastic "consumers". Despite all, wine is not a "product" like any other and in this dehumanised global context, with a lack of direction, these men and women are the DNA of the land, the very identity of local produce.

A winemaker becomes a link to the earth, to life. Each, in his domain, in his chateau, on his land, contribute in balancing out the shocks of globalisation, fighting against those who would simply disregard the great vintages just because of their alcohol volume, or even those who would try to ban its consumption in the name of the sacrosanct concept of precaution and stifling political correctness.

Winemakers have visceral, emotional and sensual ties to their vineyards. Ties that do not need definition with words to convey them to future generations. Having worn holes in their trousers as children in family vineyards, eating grapes, already learning to recognise the signs given by nature.

Winemakers are guardians of the past, ferrymen of the present and architects of the future. They cultivate their land at the pace of sustainable development, treating it gently.

It was natural, in such a state of mind, to devote the cover of our first issue to Aubert de Villaine, a tutelary personality from Burgundy, keeper of the legendary Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, an emblematic winemaking figure in his most noble of attributes : humility and genius combined. But our "guests", over the issues of this quarterly magazine to come, are numerous, from Burgundy to Alsace, from the Loire to the Rhône, from Bordeaux to Languedoc, from Champagne to Provence, not forgetting some of the greatest winemakers from around the world.

Here is a sample of the committed men and women who have inspired our team of journalists and photographers ; their sublime encounters and stories to be told in Vigneron :

André Lurton, respected patriarch of the Gironde vineyard ; Alfred Tesseron, who brought his Château Pontet-Canet to the exclusive club of the greatest Bordeaux wines ; Bérénice Lurton, the lady of Château Climens, which delivers stunning wines of sublime colour ; Istvan Szepsy, who gave back to Tokay its noble acclaim in postcommunist Hungary ; Henri de Saint Victor and his son Eric, who created a delicious Bandol in their "Château" Pibarnon ; Corinne Mentzelopoulos, owner of Château Margaux, a premier cru which sharpens the desires of wine lovers ; Jean-Guillaume Prats, conductor of the orchestra at Château Cos d'Estournel who has revolutionised the development of this great saint-estèphe ; Maurizio Zanella and its Ca' del Bosco produced one hour from Milan ; Olivier Humbrecht, twelfth generation at the controls of a world-renowned Alsatian field ; Philippe Guigal, revealing to us the incredible saga of this family of winemakers, of a wine forgotten on banks of the Rhône, a world standard : the côte-rôtie ; Véronique Drouhin, the guardian of style and elegance of the wines of Joseph Drouhin, a Burgundy gem ; Lalou Bize-Leroy, a Burgundy pasionaria converted to biodynamics very early on ; Peter Sisseck, whose Pingus have, from Spain, gone around the world since the first vintage in 1995 ; Richard Geoffroy, king of Dom Perignon assemblies ; Anselme Selosse, amazing specimen of the Champagne galaxy ; Jean-Michel Deiss, who expresses the richness and diversity of the Alsace land so well by carrying on at the height of the Marcel Deiss domain ; Jean-Bernard Delmas, once named as winemaker of the world by Robert Parker, to whom we owe 47 vintages of Haut-Brion ; Stéphane Derenoncourt, a globally renowned winemaker, from California to Syria, from Lebanon to Austria ; Didier Depond and Salon champagne, a rare nectar born in the Roaring Twenties ; Olivier Krug, who presides over the destinies of the Maison Krug, champagne haute couture ; Claude Ricard, winemaker virtuoso, concert pianist who will choose the wine and bring to the top his Domaine de Chevalier ; Stephan von Neipperg, a German count, Bordeaux by adoption, Château Canon La Gaffelière eminence ; Jean Gautreau who has made his Sociando-Mallet, a small unknown château in Médoc, a winner of blind tastings ; Christine Vernay who, from the heights of the Domaine Georges Vernay, has chiseled anthology of Condrieu ; Francis Egly, creator of the blanc de noirs, who plays the score of pinot noir on the clay soil of Ambonnay ; Jerome Philipon, who watches scrupulously over vintage Bollinger ; Noel Pinguet, a former mathematician turned winemaker, now an icon of Vouvray ; Paul-Vincent Avril, who continues a long history of four centuries of châteauneuf-du-pape ; Fabrice Rosset, Champagne pur jus, creator of the Amour de Deutz which has brought the maison in Angelot a dimension of dream and luxury ; Pedro Alvarez, the man who creates, near Valladolid, Spain, one of the world's greatest wines, Vega Sicilia ; Benjamin Dagueneau, the worthy heir of his father, Didier Dagueneau, global Sauvignon craftsman ; Sylvain Pitiot, former engineer-surveyor who fell in love with the wine and Clos de Tart ; Wilhelm Weil, great-great-grand-son of Robert Weil, a German Riesling genius ; the Perrin family at Beaucastel and its superb châteauneuf-du-pape ; Antoine Arena, defender of biodiversity in a limestone enclave of Corsica and "father" of a wonderful wine in Patrimonio ; Marlene Soria, the syrah diva who took Languedoc wines to the top ; Pierre Seillan, French expatriate in California who obtained the maximum score of 100 points in the Parker's Guide for two of his wines that did not even exist ten years ago...

Vigneron is a quarterly prestige magazine, appearing each season and demanding only one thing : excellence.

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