Domaine de la Touraize
André-Jean Morin only started making his own wines in 2010. However, his family have been growing grapes in Arbois for 8 generations, since 1704! Previously, he had sold his grapes to a cooperative, in the same way that his father and grandfather had, but in 2009 he decided it was time to start making wine himself. He sold a few hectares to make enough money to build a winery, and has been progressing ever since. In 2016, his wonderful wife Héléana left her nursing job to join him and work full time at the domaine as well. These are some of the nicest people that I have the privilege to work with, and I think it shows in the wines too!
Today, they cultivate 12 hectares in Arbois. The oldest vines are Chardonnay, and were planted in 1939 - in one of the best sites in the Jura, a lieu-dit known as Les Corvées. They keep 8 hectares worth of grapes for their own wines, and the rest are sold to another vigneron - one of the most famous vignerons in the Jura in fact!
The soil types vary between sites, and are extremely fascinating. Apart from the clay, limestone and marl, you can find many different fossils in each of the vineyards. They come in all shapes and sizes, and some are huge, especially some of the Ammonite fossils, which are used as the symbol of the domaine on their labels.
Since 2010, A-J and Héléana have slowly converted all the vineyards to organic (completed in 2017, and they will obtain certification in 2019), and in Autumn of 2017, they also began experimenting with biodynamics, and are now currently in conversion as well.
In the cellar A-J works with indigenous yeasts and without additives - with the exception of a small amount of sulfites. Élevage is either in stainless steel, old barriques of various sizes, or extremely old large Alsatian foudre (some over 100 years old). A-J is meticulously clean in the cellar, and this shows in the wines – they are of extremely high calibre, faultless, and can stay open for days without any issue. They are pure wines that truly express their terroir, and for me are some of the best wines coming out of the Jura.