Grain par Grain
I first met Caroline Ledédenté years ago when she was working at restaurant Brutos in Paris. It was clear she was super passionate about wine, and knowing that we were too, she pulled some rare (and unknown to us at the time) bottles from the cellar for us. She was friendly and knowledgeable, and had a very kind spirit. I bumped into her again a couple of years later at a dinner at Alice Bouvot’s place, where we also shared some nice bottles and great conversation. It was clear she had such a great palate, and so when I found out she was making wine, I was excited and extremely curious to taste and see what she was doing.
Grain par Grain can translate to little by little, or step by step – essentially outlining Caroline’s journey to make wine. Starting out on your own is not easy as she found out, but with the help of friends and vignerons, she learnt the craft and has now begun to make a huge impression in the natural wine world. Her first vintage is unbelievably good, and I was blown away when I visited her for the first time. I took some of her wines to share with Daniel Sage and Jodi Torgue when I went to visit them the next day, and they were also seriously impressed - Daniel then visited her a couple of months later, also curious as to how she was making such great wine.
For her first year, Caroline started with tiny holdings of only 0.28ha of vines, so as you can imagine that doesn’t equate to much wine. The remainder is made up of purchased organic grapes from growers in Savoie and Bugey. In 2019 she increased her holdings to 2ha, and the plan is to take a bit more on step by step! All of the wines are made with organic grapes. She uses nothing at all during the winemaking process, no SO2 either. And the final products are never fined or filtered, so it’s just grapes here. The freshness and expressive detail in her wines is second to none, and it's so pleasing to taste great natural wines from these beautiful and quite dramatic regions. If you are a fan of Jean-Yves Péron (also one of her Mentors), these wines will be right up your alley.