Alan Gras is always the most upbeat of all our French growers! He says he has had no problems climatically during the last six years and Saint-Romain wines are selling extremely well. After all there is five times less Burgundy than Bordeaux he says! He is also a fan of global warming because it has helped higher villages such as Saint-Romain!! It was his 39th vintage and, as ever, they used Hungarians for the picking, 45 of them in all, taking seven days to pick from 3rd September onwards. He feels it’s a year in which both reds and whites have excelled, “that’s rare,” he told us.
Alain Gras is the best grower in the beautiful, hilltop village of Saint-Romain le Haut. Through his friendship with the late, great chef Bernard Loiseau and his own sheer determination, he has his wines listed in most of France’s Michelin three star restaurants. In Britain, however, Saint-Romain wines are under-appreciated. Alain is also a very keen chasseur to the point that making an appointment with him before nightfall in the shooting season is difficult as the woodcock may be in! Born in 1957, he took over the running of the domaine from his father in 1979. Photographs of the character-filled faces of his grandfather and great-grandfather – both winemakers here in Saint-Romain – look down from the walls of his tasting room. His grandfather was 92 when he died and his great-grandfather 100; perhaps a testament to the life-giving qualities of Saint-Romain wines! The domaine now extends to 15 ha, the vast majority of which is at 1300 feet above sea level in Saint-Romain with some vines down below at 1050 feet in Auxey-Duresses and in one of Meursault’s highest lieux-dits, Les Tillets. We think Monsieur Gras considers himself a high altitude specialist and even the views from his front door, with Mont Blanc in the distance, are panoramic.