The master of Beaujolais
Yvon Métras' career begins in 1988, when he inherited the family estate of Romanèche-Thorins (in the Beaujolais region), with its 5 hectares of vineyards, and produced his first vintage. Very soon, his encounter with one of his neighbors, Marcel Lapierre, changed his conception of winemaking. Marcel, a disciple of the great Jules Chauvet, convinced him to make more natural wines.
Jules Chauvet (1907-1969) was an actual chemist by trade, interested in chemical processes such as malolactic fermentation and carbonic maceration, as well as a winemaker and successful author. He is often described as the true inspiration behind the natural wine movement, and many vintners are actively trying to follow in his footsteps and claiming to be his pupils.
Yvon Métras' vineyard is very respectful of nature. Wine making is done with natural yeasts (very few sulphites are used). Yields are low by design, the soil is plowed manually, and grapes are picked by hand only. His ancient grapevines (most were planted in 1898) produce great wines, especially his Fleuries "Cuvées Ultimes" which helped him build his reputation of master winemaker. His son Jules seems to be aiming for the stars as well.
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