Eric Texier became a winemaker after a first career and without any family background in vines or wines. As such, his goals and methods developed not so much from his years of schooling, but from his readings, his visiting winemakers around the world, and working in Burgundy with Jean-Marie Guffens at Verget.
After giving up the idea of buying vineyards, which was too costly a proposition for a beginner with his ambitions, he started a small négoce where he selected particularly interesting vineyard plots and the sincere, hard-working farmers who grew the healthy grapes he wanted to buy and vinify. He rediscovered nearly forgotten areas of ancient fame, like Brézème in the northern Côtes-du-Rhône, and nurtured relationships with people who tend their vines with passion and care. He has since acquired plots in Côte Rôtie and Condrieu in the northern Rhône, and replanted several hectares in Brézème, with Syrah and Roussanne.
That’s how he came to produce about 30 different wines, from 10 different origins, from Bussières in the Mâconnais to the northern Rhône and the southern Côtes-du-Rhône. The wines are vinified in their areas of production, which means a lot of juggling tasks and traveling at the time of harvest. When they have obtained their AOC, the young wines are transported to Charnay-en-Beaujolais, just north of Lyon, where Eric lives and has recently acquired a wonderful élevage cellar. This beautiful underground vaulted cellar was built in the 16th century, and temperatures stay cool and stable through the year.
Like all good winemakers, Eric strongly believes that wines are made in the vineyard, and that his work, after the harvest, consists in following the lead of the vintage, and accompanying the wines so they fulfill their potential. Exact steps in vinification vary according to the varietals, terroirs and vintages, but the goal is always to provide the grapes, musts and wines with the best environment and intervene as little as possible.
A Bordeaux native who has lived in or around Lyon since 1979, Eric is a jovial, energetic and fun-loving person who wants his wines to make their drinkers happy.
The Texier Cheateauneuf du Pape certainly makes us happy! 95% Grenache and 5% Mourvèdre. The Grenache comes from La Crau, a north-facing vineyard in the NE part of the appellation, where the tannins reach phenolic ripeness slowly but surely and without an overwhelmingly high alcohol level. Many of the vines are 70 years old or more. The Mourvèdre comes from head-pruned vineyard harvested relatively early to contribute acidity to the wine's structure. Whole clusters are fermented with native yeasts and a scant one-week maceration without punchdowns. The wine is aged in old oak barrels and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Age of Vines: 70+ years
Varietals: 95% Grenache & 5% Mourvèdre
Vinification & Viticultural Practices: Organic.