François Galeyrand, the natural wine of Bugey
Nicknamed Pacot, and brother of Jérôme Galeyrand as you guessed, François Galeyrand settled in Bugey in 2017. Proud to have helped his brother for several years, he wants to get started and make his own wines. Successful project, the wines of François Galeyrand are as he likes (and us too), with a beautiful tension, a time in oak controlled and full of energy. The future is bright for the Pacotille estate!
The love of wine for François Galeyrand
Originally from Haut-Anjou, François Galeyrand was not predestined to end up as a winegrower in Bugey.
The one nicknamed Pacot first studied to become an industrial designer. In the meantime, his brother, Jérôme Galeyrand, a renowned natural winegrower from Burgundy, settled in Gevrey-Chambertin in Burgundy. He hastened to help him to harvest, prune the vines, learn to cultivate the land above all.
His basic training reminds him, he signs a contract and leaves for Loire-Atlantique to become an industrial designer. His last contract takes him to Paris.
François Galeyrand returns to the field, to his brother, he helps him, he learns, but this time, he will never leave the vines again. François moves from Paris to join his brother, Jérôme Galeyrand. Passion then takes over, Jérôme validates his project but tells him to go back to school first. This is how in 2012, François Galeyrant, "Pacot", entered the Viti school in Beaune. There, he will meet the sons and daughters of winegrowers who were precursors of natural wine, such as Camille Lapierre, Alex Foillard, Yann Bertrand. In connection with his studies, François Galeyrand joins his brother, and will do his first harvest in Gevrey-Chambertin, as a speaker. Jérôme already had this sensitivity for local wines, he worked part of his vines organically, but with the arrival of François, everything accelerated. He helps Jérôme obtain organic certification for his entire estate.
In 2013, sulfur is still used in winemaking. Over the years, François will make it disappear completely. “Pacot” to the conviction that making wines without sulfur means making wines from the soil, it's transcribing the true taste of each plot, of each grape variety. The years passed, François Galeyrand, passionate about nature and the vines, gained experience in the vinification of natural Burgundy wines. As he approaches his forties, he wants to make wines under his own name and no longer of his brother's. In 2017, he then left Jérôme, and moved to the Bugey region. He first left Paris for the love of the vine, he left Burgundy again for the love of the vine but also for his girlfriend whom he met during his studies.
Bugey and Aligoté at the Domaine de Pacotille
“Pacot” therefore arrives in Bugey and takes over an old wine estate which he will divide with another person. A region he chose first for his girlfriend, but also for its recent dynamism. Five or six winegrowers have settled in the region and are thus democratizing natural wine. And there is also a preference for Aligoté in all these choices.
Thus was born the Pacotille estate in 2017, located in Andert-et-Condon, where François Galeyrand would like to reach 5 hectares of vines. Under the Grand Colombier which culminates at an altitude of 1500m, a landmark of Bugey, François Galeyrand cultivates different grape varieties. First there is the Chardonnay, which François operates on 2.5 hectares. One hectare of Gamay in the village of the Pacotille estate, there is also one hectare of Mondeuse on the slopes of the Grand Colombier that François rents out, in the town of Virieu-le-Grand. But François' favorite is of course Aligoté. For three years, he has been growing old Aligoté and also old Gamay, from 1963 in Saint-Champ. With his brother, they are very active within the association of Aligoteurs which aims to restore notes of nobility to the pretty grape variety that is Aligoté.
For him, there is still too much Chardonnay on his farm, this variety is specific to Burgundy, there is already too much. He therefore wishes to withdraw some to replant Altesse, Molette, Roussette, Mondeuse, Savoy grape varieties grown and vinified in Bugey. The words of François Galeyrand: “ knowing how to be different in order to know that we exist ”.
Passionate, ambitious, François Galeyrand was nevertheless unlucky for his debut. First harvest in his estate, 80% loss due to frost. He understands that it is necessary to adapt to nature, to change some of the grape varieties, and to return to grape varieties adapted to the region, later. François has a very respectful, thoughtful approach to nature. He knows how to listen and understand the vine thanks to his experience, he knows how to make wine, he has a bright future in Bugey.
The wines of the Domaine de Pacotilles
François Galeyrand knows how to make wine, the Burgundy way, he learned from his brother in Gevrey-Chambertin. It is therefore quite natural that he uses the barrel in the aging of his white wines from Bugey, and his red wines.
He cultivates and vinifies all his vines organically and biodynamically. His grapes are healthy, and full of energy, it shows in his bottles.
There is L'Amigoté 2020, its 100% Aligoté which comes from a plot recovered even before its installation, a plot which culminates at 387m above sea level. The tension is present, there is a nice generosity and freshness in the mouth. Everything was harvested by hand, François uses a vertical wooden press, and ages his natural white wine for 12 months. A homeopathic dose of sulfur was added at bottling only.