I’ll Drink to That: Beaujolais vigneron Louis-Benoit Desvignes

Episode 452 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and features Louis-Benoit Desvignes of Domaine Louis-Claude Desvignes in Morgon, within the Beaujolais area of France. Louis-Benoit works together with his sister Claude-Emmanuelle at the domaine.

Louis-Benoit Desvignes sees an area around him in Beaujolais that benefits from the legacy of the past (he comes from a long family line of grape growers himself), but which may need new answers to changing conditions. Louis-Benoit specifically states in this inteview that his father harvested Morgon differently than he does today because his father was working in a different climate. But that isn’t the only concern Louis-Benoit has under consideration, and indeed what comes across quite clearly in this interview is Louis-Benoit’s engagement with a vast number of different questions. Here is somebody who is actively thinking about each step of the process, from sunlight into wine. Louis-Benoit rejoined his family domaine in 2004, and it may be that it takes over a decade for some of the diferent lessons of the work to really sink in, or it may be that in fact it takes longer than any one human life is given to really know the character of one’s work with wine, a point Louis-Benoit returns to repeatedly in this episode (“My dad told me and my grandaddy told me that you will know nothing, and it’s true”). Despite the mountainous learning curve, there is a genuine excitement to seeing someone actively trying to scale new heights, and some of that excitement reaches through to the listener of this episode.

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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: @leviopenswine