Valérie Forgues - Domaine de la Méchinière
Although today Valérie makes some of the purest and most precise wines from almost extinct grape varieties, her journey didn't start off quite so rosy 🥲
It all started as a love story in the late 90’s when Valérie agreed to follow the dream of her husband to take over a wine estate. At the time of the acquisition, the estate was worked chemically and everything needed to be done in order to convert the estate to natural wine making. Despite the lack of knowledge the young couple rolled up their sleeves to raise vines and two children 👨👩👦👦
Fast forward to 2008: Valérie finds herself alone with her two sons at the estate. Facing loneliness and the possibility of uprooting her sons from the house they grew up in, she decides, despite no viticultural or winemaking experience, to persevere with the 16 hectare estate 💪
Call it luck or providence, BUT Valérie’s neighbours turned out to be Catherine Roussel and Didier Barrouillet, who at the time were running the iconic Clos Roche Blanche. Seeing Valérie in need, Didier became a mentor and began off-handedly giving her advice based on his vision of agriculture and winemaking. This philosophy resonated with her deeply. Like Yoda and Luke, she kept asking Didier questions, and with every answer was eager to learn more. As things were moving along, Didier believed that the estate could be converted fully to organic viticulture. However, Valérie, happy to have finally found a balance, ever precarious, was afraid to jeopardise all the progress they made so far. Didier vowed to help Valérie through the whole process.
All this hard work paid off and today all 16 hectares are 100% converted and certified organic. All the grapes are traditional to the region, and many are almost extinct. 🦤
Besides working closely with Didier or Thierry Puzelat from Clos du Tue Boeuf, Valérie works with her son Louis since 2019. More than a Swiss Army knife who fixes the tractor and works the fields, Louis actively designs the future of the estate. His latest stroke of genius is the rare and exquisite Cuvée Orbin, an orange wine made from pré-phylloxera Orbois and Chenin vines 🔥🍊
You can follow their journey on Instagram