The region of Beaujolais continues to heed the call for young vignerons who want to get in the wine game but aren’t lucky enough to own their own vineyards. For those motivated people who are willing to ferret out the treasures, you can still find amazing, old-vine vineyards that can be purchased or leased for a relative “value” in today’s wine world. As a result of this phenomena, a vibrant community of young winemakers, mostly farming organically, has developed and flourished in Beaujolais, working in an unusually collaborative way to make some of the most delicious and ethereal wines from the noble Gamay Noir grape. In fact, this sense of community started back in the 1980’s with the so-called “Gang of Four” (Lapierre, Thevenet, Foullard and Breton) who helped to revolutionize the region put quality Cru Beaujolais on the map.
Antoine Sunier officially jumped into this community of Beaujoloises in 2014 when he purchased a house with a small vinification cellar in the village of Régnié along with 0.8 Ha of vineyards. But prior to that, wine had already been a part of his life for a long time. Antoine grew up in Dijon, and his mother worked a hair cutter whose clientele included many local wine producers, including Christophe Roumier. But for Antoine, rather than dabble in various wine jobs and internships after graduating from school like his older brother Julien did, he followed a more conservative route, and took a job working for a telecommunications company.
But wine remained as a constant pull for the younger Sunier. So much so that when his brother Julien set up his own estate in 2008, he used to spend his vacations in the region just hanging out with his many amis Beaujoloises (Bojo pals), and working in Julien’s vineyards and cellar. In 2012, he finally said “enough” and left his job to study Enology and Viticulture in Beaune. His studies led him into work stages at two Organic estates, Domaine Lapalu in Beaujolais and Chateau de Prémeaux in Burgundy.