Pauline Broqua – delicious wines from the middle of nowhere
When I left the motorway I could hardly believe it. Another 1.5hours? On such little tiny streets? Up & down, left & right? Wow! I had known that the wonderful region called “Aveyron” is kind of remote & away from it all – yet I had no clue how far away. I drove on single lane roads past picturesque pastures, hills, forrests, along wonderfully wild rivers & was repeatedly blown away by breathtakingly deep gorges or lakes that time had carved into this landscape.
Was that the south of France? Canada? “Occitanie”, the name of the wider region suddenly made sense. I had read, had heard that name before & it had always carried a somehow exotic, unknown vibe to it. Just like the landscape I was crossing appeared familiar & strange at the same time. It could have been a remote part of the Black Forrest, of Jura or Appenzell? Yet we were just 1h north of Montpellier & the deep south somehow kept buzzing through the air. And then, after zillions of turns, a hand full of stops to suck in magnificent views I finally arrived. Entragues-sur-Truyere (google it & check out these pix).
Tucked in between big hills / small mountains, next to a wonderfully wild river called “Truyere”. The failing navigation system gave me a free tour through the tiny little streets on my search for the B&B Pauline had organised for me. The river didnt just look ideal for fishing, there were several men in there there swinging their rods! It was early in spring, the air was fresh & spicy from the surrounding woods, the place made me feel like on holiday straight away. A clear case of love at first sight, my kind of place & that bitter sweet feeling of just having 24hours to spend.
And then, finally, “Domaine des Buis” & Pauline Broqua. Pauline just took over this 7ha domaine from a retiring winemaker who used to work vines & soils conventionally. Now, and thats such powerful good news, this young woman with this big smile & these strong convictions is bringing back life & biodiversity by applying biodynamic methods, by working manually, by using the plow instead of chemicals. Its all about recollection, about doing whats right for soils, for wildlife & ofcourse for us winelovers who want to drink real & natural. Its the very beginning of a beautiful yet tiring, a meaningful yet exhausting journey Pauline has decided to embark on. I love being able to experience these journeys, to witness it, to see & feel it. It has something deeply satisfactory watching this transformation in vineyards. To watch positive change as it happens.
Pauline herselves is all about Savoir Faire, about knowledge & experience. She started up in one of the best places you can imagine “Les Temps des Vendanges” in Toulouse where she learned to taste etc. with pioneer & wine dealer legend Eric Cuestas. Having dreams & plans around her own little winebar in mind she started to spend time with winemakers, to get her hands dirty, to learn & observe in vineyards & cellars. And it was during these “internships” that she felt her own mindset, her own plans change. She was with my old friend Laurence (“Yoyo”) down in Montesquieue/Banyuls when she realised that she really wanted to become a winemaker, that she wanted to live a different life on the countryside, leave the city, leave the restaurant/gastro lifestyle. She decided to do a 2 year program studying viniculture & oenology, worked with Ferme St. Martin & with Nicolas Carmarans in the hills of Aveyron. Which is where the circle closes – Pauline fell in love with the area, the grape varieties, she saw an opportunity coming up at Les Buis, seized it & here we go: Switzerland just received the first two wines she produced in her new home, in her new life. We are thrilled to be Paulines swiss importer from this very beginning! We are looking forward to all these delicious wines in the vintages to come & most of all we are looking forward to witness this wonderful journey Pauline Broqua has embarked on.