Domaine La Bohème - Patrick & Justine Bouju
Patrick Bouju’s desire to become a winemaker is founded in his love of nature, passion for wine, and a sulphite intolerance that he discovered during his student days. During his military service he met a number of natural winemakers who only served to fuel this desire and, in 2004, Patrick started his own winery in the Auvergne region. Today, Patrick farms approximately 7 hectares in Auvergne and 1,5 in south Beaujolais, along with his partner Justine Loiseau.
The vines grow in volcanic soil on the hillsides south-east of Clermont-Ferrand. Some of these are ancient, pre-phylloxera even: vines that survived the epidemic of the late 1800s when a species of lice decimated Europe’s vineyards. The vineyards range across several communes with a diversity of grapes such as Limberger, Mirefleurien, and multiple varieties of Gamay.
In 2014 the couple started making négociant wines. A series of poor harvests kickstarted a search for grapes that could act as a substitute for those lost, and resulted in a line of cuvées that have proved increasingly popular. Travels across France and as far as Greece came with the added bonus of new grape varieties and fascinating characters, and today the winery in Auvergne is an exciting laboratory where creativity abounds.
See below for wines that are vivid, alive, and consistently delicious.