So here I was, last spring, talking away with the recently-departed Marcel Lapierre, the Beaujolais vigneron who was one of the dominant figures of the natural wine movement in its strictest definition—organic in the vineyard, wine made with grape juice only, nothing added (not even sulfur), nothing taken out. And as we got into discussing the risks of wild fermentations without sulfur, I asked him what he recommended doing if a fermentation went off in the wrong direction, with undesirable microorganisms like Brettanomyces taking over the wine’s development.
The natural wine world lost one of its leading figures, Sunday night, when Beaujolais winemaker Marcel Lapierre died after a long battle with melanoma. From his vineyards in the Morgon cru of Beaujolais, Lapierre had become a champion of natural wine, strictly defined as organic in the vineyard, and wild yeast fermentations with nothing taken out and nothing added in, including SO2.
Living in Boston has taught me to be suspicious of cowardly March. As winter paws at its heels and spring serenades its sights, March lingers in spells of indecision. Wavers between days that boast sunshine and sweater-shedding warmth, and others who cry gray and wet storms.