Episode 323 of I’ll Drink to That! has been released and it features Olivier Collin of the Ulysse Collin domaine in Champagne.
Sometimes you hear a story about a wine producer and you think, “Huh. Wouldn’t have figured on that working out.” Like the winery is at some end of the world location. Maybe a disaster occurs, like an earthquake, that leaves the continued success of the winery in doubt. Or the guy used to have an unlikely job hang gliding before he fell for wine, something like that. But somehow it ends up coming together anyway and here is this producer and here is this wine, and “Hey, pretty yummy.” I have heard stories turned out like that. You have heard stories like that. But even by those standards the Olivier Collin story is pretty amazing. This is a person that went to law school so that he could find a legal way to get his family domaine back from the large negociant who controlled it. It isn’t that he hired a lawyer to accomplish this, it is that he himself went to law school to get it done. That’s law school for several years. And when asked about it in this interview, Olivier’s explanation for his determination in reclaiming Ulysse Collin as a domaine is that he thinks he was born to be making wine, not sitting inside watching through the window as workers he doesn’t know strip his family’s grapes off the vines. If you have tasted the Ulysse Collin wines you already know that they are indeed pretty yummy. But the backstory might move you even more.
Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.
I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine