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!!).
Ridiculously talented winemaker with rave reviews from Jancis Robinson and other European critics -- we're sure he'll be a hit in the USA too.
Thanks to Angel funding, Virgile's been able to expand his production and bring his world-class wines to a global audience.
Map of Virgile's vineyard
Virgile Joly's Story
"For me wine is a highly civilised product, first step is growing, you have to grow a vine to obtain grapes. Then with a first and a second fermentation you get up the level of the product and you obtain a product complex, than people can speak hours and hours, compeer, disagreed, love, be fan... etc.
I love to be in the vineyards, at the different moment of the day, seasons, smell the different flavours . It’s very quite. One moment that I especially like in the summer, is the early morning, you wake up before the sun is rising, you are in the vineyard when the sun got up, and that moment is special if the night was windy, the wind stop for a moment. In that moment the night bird stop to sing and day bird start.
I love at the end of a hard day of work in the vineyards, you look around and you can see what you did, after a day of pruning you can see the wine pruned, organised, after a day “working the ground” with “tractor” (like ploughings) you see the soil without herbs, with more volume and air that you introduced. It’s not like when you work at office, you enter the morning in the room, it’s always the same light, you switch on your computer and at the end of the day you switch of your computer, you cannot see the difference between the morning and the moment when you left!
I make wines for people’s pleasure, to enjoy, to drink.
There are not wines to impress, for competition.
A wine to drink should be healthy, with ripeness and well balanced. It’s what I’m looking for all the wines I produce.
I love to see the evolution of old vine we convert in organic, see the difference years after years, we appreciate the quantity higher and higher each year’s growing.
Harvest and winemaking, each time are different, each year bring questions, it’s a special moment, for me only one thing : winemaking and harvest. All the other thinks are not important in that moment. I concentre all my energy and attention to find the way to have the best wines.
For me, who doesn’t have my own winery, each time we grow each time we need more space and we have to find a new organisation and more space. This is a struggle for us 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.
For me a remarkable time in my life was when I spent one year with Patrick Moon , who was following me to write his first book published “Virgile’s vineyards”. All the funny question that he asked to understand how we grow vine and how we make wines. Questions of an “English solicitor” 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 I do feel proud as well."