The poster boy for organic viticulture in the south of France
- Virgile Joly is the poster boy for organic viticulture in the south of France. There's even a novel about his early days when he manually bottled his first vintage with a funnel (imagine filling 3000 bottles that way?!)
- A ridiculously talented winemaker with rave reviews from Jancis Robinson and other European critics, Virgile is living his best life in the Languedoc.
- Thanks to Angel funding, Virgile was able to expand his production. You were the investors that helped bring his world-class wines to a global audience!
Years Angel-funded: 2013-18
Map of the Vineyard
Virgile Joly's Story
"Winemaking is full of critical moments– growing, fermenting, aging, analyzing. It's always my desire to achieve something complex. My perfect result is making something that people can speak hours and hours about, enjoying together in a shared experience.
I love to be in the vineyards every season at varying moments of the day. It’s very quiet and calm. I especially like when I'm in the vineyards right at the moment when the sun is rising on summer mornings... there's a special thing that happens then; the wind stops, and you can hear nature's changing of the guards; the sounds of the night fade away, and the sun warms the songs of the morning birds, singing louder and louder as the sky brightens.
A hard day of work in the vineyards is one of the most truly satisfying things about my job. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment after working the ground, seeing the grapes pruned and organized, and the soil, free from wild seedlings, full and fluffy with freshly mixed oxygen and nutrients. It's unlike any other office I've known.
I make wines for pleasure, for people to enjoy with leisure, and believe wine should be healthy, ripe, and well-balanced. I love to see old vines flourish as they're farmed organically... the difference is very clear in their appearance and their fruit. Harvest is different every year, and always brings up new questions. It's important for me to focus my energy on and attention to figuring out each year's puzzle.
For a winemaker like me, who doesn’t have his own winery, it's difficult to make as much wine as I'd like– each year, I search for a larger production space. This is a struggle for my team and I, and one day I hope Angel funding will be able to change that! I dream of having my own winery, large enough to make all the wines I would like to...
A remarkable time in my life was when I spent one year with Patrick Moon, an English writer who followed me and my daily life to write his first book: Virgile’s Vineyards. I've never been asked so many questions about vines, and how I make wines– questions coming from an English solicitor, mind you, who was changing his life to become a writer. It still feels funny to me that that book made me famous in the wine world...but it does make me proud.
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