There is a devil in every berry of the grape.—koran
Overlooking the almost too-perfect rolling hills in the southern Beaujolais town of Charnay, at the end of a cul-de-sac, rests the home of the Texiers. I’ve known Eric Texier, a lapsed nuclear engineer turned winemaker, for not quite a decade. His vineyards are on the border between the northern and southern Rhone. He commutes an hour to his vines.
Eric and I first clicked over a famed Japanese farmer. We had both read the poetic memoir One Straw Revolution, which recounts how a onetime scientist came to a Zen-like interpretation of farm- ing. People refer to the Japanese farmer’s method as “natural” or “do- nothing” farming, but it is essentially “do-little.” Eric even started a communal vineyard named after the man, Masanobu Fukuoka. This Fukuoka vineyard is just across from his winery, right on the outskirts of town. Then once we latched on to an ongoing debate about Chauvet, we were never at a loss for conversation.