Collection: Opi d’Aquí & Les Vins Contes

They mean it when they say it: biodynamic viticulture is holistic viticulture. It truly is all-encompassing for its shepherd, its vigneron. All histories - stratigraphic, geologic, social, political, personal - collide in a well-minded vineyard. Phillippe Formentin, more than a decade ago in France’s Languedoc outside the wine-crazy town of Clermont l’Herault, brought this wholeness to bear: Opi d’Aqui, his winery’s name, is not French. It is Occitan, (meaning Opium from Here), a descendant of Roman Latin, still spoken by the Occitan people. In fact, "Languedoc" is derived from Occitan - originally spelled Langue d’Oc, meaning, Language of Yes. Following this, Formentin’s wines are ones the body readily accepts - that it says yes to -  born in the limestone foothills of the Larzac Plateau. Here, he tends vines grown in this nature of assent. Having worked for 10 years at Domaine Chabanon in Lagamas (nearby Montpellier), he traveled the world as a vineyard-consultant before settling in this ancient place. His wines possess supreme drinkability and, in their lightness and freshness, achieve what truly makes great wine: clarity of the communion of all histories that occupy the air, soil, and grapes of this exact place.

What was missing for Olivier Lemasson, the brains behind famed Touraine Domaine Les Vins Contés (translation: Story Wines)? Maybe it was curiosity, that which asked more questions than supplied answers. Working as a sommelier and retailer in France’s Brittany was not enough - he was spurred by a question mark. What were these bizarre wines? These ones unlike any others? Natural wines, in a phrase. After four years of harvest at THE Domaine Lapierre in Morgon, Beaujolais, Olivier and Hervé Villemade started the négociant winery Les Vins Contes, which in 2006, transferred solely to Olivier and in 2016 he was finally able to purchase his own nine hectares of vines. These are wines made with intentional vin de soif character, which is to say, wines made to be loved foolishly, intensely - without shame, fear, or second-guesses.