Episode 457 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and features Jeanne-Marie de Champs. Jeanne-Marie de Champs is the owner of Domaines et Saveurs Collection, an exporter working with Burgundy and other wines from France.
Jeanne-Marie de Champs uses the phrase “defending” when she describes her work on behalf of the grower producers she represents in the market, and it is a telling admission. Jeanne-Marie sees herself as a protector of these small scale producers, and her work on their behalf as more than a business transaction. She says at one point in the discussion that making money is fine, but that we aren’t placed on Earth just to make money. The sense of a higher purpose that she radiates can be rare within the giant global wine market today, and it serves to highlight how Jeanne-Marie is a special individual. Moving cases can seem all-important within some operations, but not so for Jeanne-Marie. Rather she seems to operate with a keen feeling for the importance of human relationships, a sensitivity that was perhaps shaped by the experience of losing her father at too young of an age.
Jeanne-Marie gravitated to the small farmer wineries almost from her start, many years ago, and she was ahead of many others when it came to developing a personal selection that took into account the quality of the farming as well as place an importance on the articulation of an individual plot and vintage in the bottled wine. But she remains humble about this work, not grand, and her stated preferences are more quietly determined than triumphant. Pomposity is absent, and this interview is often light at its core: a sharing of favorite memories and personal portraits from decades of living and working in Burgundy. Those curious about how one might operate within the wine business with a sense of purpose and empathy, but also an appreciation for fun, may want to check out this interview.
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