MEET Damien Barton & Benjamin Joyeux
Damien Barton and Benjamin Joyeaux run 225, the innovative Bordeaux wine brand that helped us develop our Return Bottle scheme. They supply us with wines from sustainably minded winemakers across Bordeaux. The female winemaking team behind their Bordeaux Superieur tell us about their wine:
Can you introduce yourself and your winery?
We are two sisters in the heart of a family property dating from the 15th century. It is surrounded by our animals that we create wines in our image: full of life and freshness. Marie-Caroline is in charge of the commercial part, and Anne-Cécile takes care of the technical part.
Briefly, what does sustainability mean to you?
It is to succeed in integrating our work while limiting our impact on nature. We must live in harmony with nature while succeeding in perpetuating our property.
What steps are you taking to be more sustainable in your vineyard and winery?
We are in AB conversion. We used sheep for shearing this winter and we will do it again in future years. We recycle our wine waste (marc and stalk) and our dead vines into firewood.
Why did you make the choice to be organic/biodynamic/natural, if any? Are you certified, if not why not?
We are certified Independent Winegrowers, HVE3, EVE and in AB conversion. There are a lot of certifications but above all it represents our commitments to produce wines while respecting the magnificent environment that we have. We are lucky to have a rich terroir, but it is fragile. Our goal is to make the property last, and for that, we must take care of our terroir.
Who is the unsung hero in your workforce?
There are no specific heroes but a united team that takes pleasure in working together. Everyone makes their contribution in their own way.
What impact do you think climate change will have in your region over the next few decades?
In our opinion, more unstable weather with drier periods and more intense wet rain. – What have you changed over the last few years to tackle climate change? We planted grape varieties that have not been authorized until now.
Briefly describe your winemaking style
The plot harvest allows us to reserve the most fruity grapes for the production of this wine. Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats, with color extraction by pumping over, then malolactic fermentation in stainless steel vats as well. The wine is kept in vat to preserve the freshness of the fruits. Traditionally, it is bottled in the year following the harvest.
Which is your favourite grape variety to work with?
Merlot is the easiest grape to work with, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, but we are very proud when we obtain quality cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon wines because it is more complicated in the vineyard, these grape varieties are more complicated to work with and perfect maturity is harder to achieve.
What would be the perfect food pairing for the wine you’re supplying to BW?
An ideal wine for summer meals, cheese/charcuterie boards and BBQ. But very well suited to dishes in sauce or Italian.
How would you pitch your wine to a customer at a bar or restaurant?
This wine is both fruity and structured. The very present tannins bring a beautiful structure and the roundness of the Merlot leaves a good length in the mouth.
What do you think is the next big trend in the world of wine?
The question of ecology and the way in which winegrowers, as farmers, respect their environment and integrate notions of sustainable development into their production process will become a central issue in the coming years.