I love telling this anecdote, because I think it symbolizes very well the figure of the “vigneron” that I learn with David. –Vigneron- would be translated into Spanish as a viticulturist; however, in French it has another symbolic meaning. In the world of French wine, vigneron means taking a step forward, and going from producing grapes and selling them to a winery, to making your own wine. It is a brave step, a step that requires personality, determination, enthusiasm, and that will necessarily mark the wine you are going to make with your mark. The vigneron does not require enormous technical knowledge, but common sense, good work and sensitivity. And that’s why I tell you this anecdote.
When David and I took a step forward in creating Muchada-Léclapart, one of the goals was to find a plot of vineyards to buy. The idea we had was to find old vineyards in one of the historical Pago –Cru- of Sanlúcar; nothing more. It was a very broad and general idea. However, I remember the phrase David told me: “Ale: look for beauty; look for a place that has beauty, that you feel good about it. I am sure it will give something excellent ”. It struck me because he did not tell me to analyze the soils, to study the type of albariza it had, the depth at which the tosca appeared … It was a phrase that was directly showing me what I wanted to learn: to feel, to trust intuition , to develop the sensitivity that we all have to perceive what surrounds us. And also, to appreciate beauty, to seek beauty as an indicator of excellence, of the future, of the way to go.
These subtle gestures of David are the ones that most attract my attention, and they generate the most motivation for me to want to be a vigneron, in the French way. It’s not about planting chardonnay grapes, or blowing bubbles; It is about trusting your intuition, your sensitivity, the artist that we all carry inside. It was with this attitude that we found our La Platera vineyard. Thanks to good friends, who are always the best filter to come up with something good for you, we found La Platera, a 1.7 hectare plot, with 1.2 hectare of beautiful old vines.
That afternoon, luckily, David and I were together. They showed us several plots, but none made us “clink”. But when we got to La Platera, David and I looked at each other and said: This is it. Thus, without analyzing the soils, without prejudice because we are in the lower part of Pago Miraflores. There was a singular beauty in those vineyards. Its shape told us that it was a rich soil and that its viticulturist had been very meticulous in his viticulture. The absence of scraps and replacements also indicated that it was a good land. It was our plot. This is how our Lumière wine began its journey, our flagship: a dry white wine from the old vineyards of La Platera, which we make without makeup: without flower veil, without fortifying, and of course, without rectifying its acidity, without additives except a minimum of sulfurous, with spontaneous fermentation.
The funny thing is that 3 years later, in 2020, after three vintages working their soils, we made a pit. Yves Herody, the most reputed geologist in France, along with Claude Bourguignon, had come to the region and we dug several pits in the most significant plots of various producers in the region – the occasion deserved it. The surprise was that the soils of La Platera turned out to be beautiful, with a rough –tosca-, light-white closed at two meters depth, which possibly explains the finesse and elegance of our wine.