Julien Braud hails from the small village of Monnieres in the Sèvre et Maine appellation. Today he owns just over seven hectares, with only around five hectares going into his production. He began his winemaking career at his family’s estate, domain Fief aux Dames where he worked through the 2011 vintage. In 2012, he ventured out on his own when he took over three hectares from his parents. His vision was to work in a way that highlighted the individual terroirs of the region and the heights to which Melon de Bourgogne could be taken. At the young age of 29 years old, Julien is one of only a handful of the next generation of winemakers in the region. He is bucking the trend in the area, which in recent years has seen a decline in producers and Melon de Bourgogne vineyards given the challenges of making a living selling Muscadet. He remains undeterred!

Julien works entirely organically and will be fully certified as such come 2016. He also incorporates biodynamic approaches. He uses horses in his vineyards to minimize soil compaction, hand harvests, uses only natural yeasts for fermentation after a gentle press, and ages the wines on their lees in glass-lined, underground cement vats. A truly quality-minded approach to that has resulted in wines of complexity, texture and balance.

WINES

Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine sur lie 40oz

This cuvée comes primarily from terroirs seated on gneiss rock, which gives wines its fruitiness early on. A small part also comes from Amphibolite (type of rocks), which contributes a citrus and fresh mouthfeel. The vines are 30 years old on average. The grapes are sourced from a vineyard that is in the process of converting all farming to organic practices. The soils are worked to increase the biodiversity and its aeration. Julien is also practicing ‘de-budding’ in order to control the amount of leaves and increase the aeration of grapes. There is no use of synthetic products or other chemical treatment. Some biodynamic practices are helping to increase the balance and health of the vine (not certified), and Julien is doing plant decoction to make the vines stronger.  Manual harvest is done in 10-15kg basket to avoid crushing of the grapes. Sorting is done in the vineyard. Gentle press and light settling before fermentation in respect to the terroir and vintage. Fermentation starts without artificial yeasts or enzymes. Temperatures are kept low (between 18 and 20 degrees C) in order to keep the wine fresh. The wines are aged on lees until they are bottled in early March.

Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine sur lie Les Vigne du Bourg

The soils are shallow sand-silt soils with a portion of which are seated on gneiss rock which gives fruity wines while young. It opens after few years on mineral and floral aromas.  The remainder of the vines are cultivated on soils lying over Gabbros rock (black rocks), which gives a richer and fuller wine that open after few years on menthol, anise and liquorice notes.  Manual harvest in 10-15Kg Basket to avoid to crush the grapes. Sorting is made in the vineyard.  Gentle press and slight settling before to let start the fermentation.. Fermentation starts by itself without artificial yeasts and without enzymes. They occur slowly at a low temperature between 18 and 20 ° C for about one month.  At the end of the fermentation process, the wines are aged on the lies for a year.  Some bâtonnages are carried out before the winter and spring to promote yeast autolysis which brings more complexity to the wine.