Producer story

Julien Altaber

Julien Altaber, Sextant L’Ecume 2015, St Aubin, France

Growing up in Burgundy, the son of dairy farmers, Julien Altaber chose spent his holidays in the company of cows and tractors. Though he had no vines to inherit, as is the way for many successful growers in France’s established domains, he had a determination to tread his own agricultural path.

At the age of 16 Julien fell in love with winemaking. Committing to various internships and finding a mentor in Saint Aubin’s Dominique Derain, he learnt biodynamic practices that shaped his outlook as a vigneron. Prizing “true wine” over “grand vin”, Julien adopts a method of hard work in the field and hands off in the cellar, relying on spontaneous fermentation and no added sulphites.

Julien farms without herbicides or any synthetic products, embracing honest wines and accepting that each year should be different. On our part, we’ve been more than a little delighted with the 2015 Sextant L’Ecume, a juicy but refined, delicately effervescent blend of gamay and aligoté.

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