Jean-Claude Lapalu

Jean-Claude Lapalu is part of the new-wave of natural winemakers in Beaujolais and his wines are some of the finest in the region. He grew up in a vine-growing family, but unlike his father who sold all his grapes to a co-operative, Jean-Claude quickly realised he needed to oversee the whole process. In the mid-1990s, he started buying up parcels of Gamay vines across Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly and Beaujolais villages and by 2005 he had dropped all historic grape-selling contracts. Today he owns around 12 hectares of organically farmed, old-vines, which average 60-80 years old, grown on the fine, granite soils of Beaujolais. Not afraid to bend, or even break, the rules, he practices minimal-intervention wine-making, using as little sulphur-dioxide as possible and the result is high quality, nuanced red wines which are bursting with structure and concentration. His Vin de France wines that fall outside Beaujolais’s regulations are as interesting as his excellent Beaujolais crus.

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