The Graillot family has always been big on Beaujolais. Several years ago , the indefatigable Alain Graillot and his two sons, Antoine and Maxime, were on the look out for some vineyard land in the Beaujolais. Their organic viticulture, whole bunch winemaking and love of freshness and finesse seemed like a perfect fit with Beaujolais for them. When, in 2013, the rare opportunity arose to acquire five hectares of mature vines on the steep Côte de Besset, one of Saint-Amour’s twelve climats, the Graillots did not hesitate. The high and rocky Côte de Besset is located in the northernmost section of the appellation, bordering Juliénas and overlooking the town of Saint-Amour. Here the steep, high altitude vineyards face mostly east and the soils are composed of pink granite and granitic sand. These vines span three Beaujolais appellations; Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages and an exceptionally low yielding, single hectare of Saint-Amour.

The following year the Graillots were able to add three hectares in Fleurie, on the steep slopes of the stunning Roche Guillon lieu dit, near Poncié. Rising to 350 metres, the gobelet-trained vines of the Roche Guillon are also rooted in the classic decomposed, pink granitic sands of the region, but there is also some limestone and clay throughout. Domaine de Fa’s steep, gobelet-trained vineyards are certified organic and managed strictly biodynamically. The wines are then crafted in a beautifully restored, stone farmhouse close to Tournus where Alain Graillot’s mother resides. The name of the project, Domaine de Fa, takes its name from this property. Unlike some northerners who are today making Beaujolais in the style of the Cote d’Or, the winemaking here remains traditional for Beaujolais; the grapes are naturally fermented, semi carbonic style, with 100% whole bunches in concrete fermenters. The ferments last for 7 -10 days and the wines are then matured in large oak barrels (20 and 30 hl Stockinger foudre and some 600lt demi-muid). All the wines are bottled without filtration. A new producer has been born in the Beaujolais. And it’s a bloody good one at that.