Aubert de Villaine

"I believe that in Burgundy, the talent–the talent which produces the great wine–is in the terroir*. The reputation of the wine from Burgundy was made over the past several centuries and it comes from the quality of wine that the (particular) terroir can provide. That is the talent. The role of the winemaker is to enable the terroir to be in the best condition possible–to help bring forward (like a mid-wife) the product of the exceptional land. The role is to listen to the terroir. One listens always to the terroir to understand what to do to achieve an equilibrium in the soil, what to use as vegetal material, how to prune, how to treat the vines. There is always a selection of the best methods so that the terroir is in its best disposition possible to make a good wine.

"In a winemaker's life, one makes a wine thirty, forty, or if you are lucky, fifty times, but usually more like forty times, which is not a lot. And, even if one has experience and knowledge, one is always before a blank sheet. You only know what nature has written after the fact. All the year, you follow a page that is written before you, and you participate, but you never know where you are and what is nature's design."

*Terroir denotes the particular complex of natural conditions of a vineyard land, including soil qualities, rock mineral content, and drainage.

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