2020, Pleine Tete
France · Beaujolais · Charentay
It says Baptiste Bertrand on the label, but everyone calls him Bart. Located in Beaujolais, Baptiste farms 4.5 hectares of vines on clay-limestone soils around Charentay, a small commune that makes up part of a swath of Beaujolais-Villages vineyards between Mont Brouilly to the south and Morgon to the north. Baptiste originally studied ecology, with a specialization in environmental management and cartography. After working for organizations and nonprofits for a decade around France, he found himself back home in Beaujolais, where he spent three years managing a local project related to local vineyards. When that project came to an end, a friend suggested that he takes over some vines from a retiring winemaker.
Baptiste is the first producer in Charentay to be certified organic, and his wines are produced using simple traditional equipment and minimal intervention. The winery is housed in a large, century-old winemaking complex that a friend had purchased to renovate into several apartments, then offered to let Baptiste use the existing press room and cellar for its original purpose. Baptiste uses a small vintage wooden basket press for the crush, then all wines are fermented in large concrete tanks. Nothing is added except occasional doses of sulfur when needed. Most of the wine is aged in concrete, though a small portion goes into used barrels. In 2020, Baptiste began experimenting with fiberglass eggs.