A successful transition from farmer to winegrower
History of the Estate
How was your Estate founded? Who founded it? What motivated you?
Bernard Grandidier – We started from nothing. At the very beginning, in 1996, I did not have the vocation to become a wine producer. People approached me to see whether I wanted to plant vines as I had a south-facing slope in the PDO area. At that time, it was still the PDO’s predecessor before 2011 (the ‘Vin de qualité supérieure’) and the idea was to bring Moselle wine production back to life.
At first, I refused because I did not know anything about this field. Then, I thought about it and ended up accepting three years later as long as a cooperative was involved, so I could take care of the vines and others would make the wine.
The first plots, totalling 2 acres, were planted in 1999 with three varieties: pinot noir, pinot gris and auxerrois. In the end, the cooperative was not created but the Estate was launched, nevertheless. It was really challenging. I would often say to myself that you need a certain amount of recklessness to start a business.
What training do you have?
BG - I am basically a farmer just like my father and brother, with 550 acres of cereal land. I am self-taught and do not have any training in viticulture. I was given advice by other winegrowers such as Pascal Oury, who taught me a lot. He said to me: “I will not let you to make bad wine next to me, you have to make good wine.”
For the technical side of things, I get help from oenologists who drop by and give me advice.
Wine tourism services
What wine tourism services do you provide on the Estate?
BG - People can come and go as they please during our opening times, they can also make an appointment to see me.
What future plans do you have for your Estate?
BG - We currently have 7.5 acres in production, 1.2 acres planted in 2021 and 1 acre planned for 2022. But all this is not for me anymore, these plants are for the future, as the first bottles will only be ready in 4 to 6 years. They are for the future of the Estate, and I really believe in that. We always need to look forwards, as life is a never-ending game from the day we are born to the day we die. I could take my retirement right now, as I am old enough, but I keep going whilst preparing everything for the next stage for future buyers who will take over from me. I intend to remain as a shareholder of the company whilst incorporating younger people.
What is your Estate’s surface area and geographic situation?
BG - I currently have 8.6 acres of vines next to the Route d’Augny road in Fey. This slope faces south/slightly east.
Could you tell us about your production? What sort of products do you sell on the Estate? How much do you produce, how many bottles?
BG - At first, I started producing sparkling wines (bubbly) with auxerrois, then auxerrois without bubbles, then ten years later pinot gris and lastly rosé wines, which we have been producing for four years now.
In terms of volume, I produce 24,000 bottles on average a year.
In the PDO area, I have rosé wines, auxerrois and pinot gris.
How would you describe the three wines you have selected?
BG - I chose my flagship wines, that have proved the most popular over time.
The first one is an auxerrois, which is a well-balanced wine with a mineral and fruity nose and supple palate. It is well suited for starters, fish dishes, white meat dishes and cheese.
The second one is a pinot gris with floral notes, an ample and fruity attack ending on notes of lemon, which is ideal for pre-dinner drinks, cold starters, fish, and seafood.
The third one is a rosé with a strong violet robe, which has strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry aromas, and goes well with summer dishes.
Estate fundation: 1999
Planting of the vines: south/east
Surface: 3,5 ha
Production: 24 000 btls/year.
Grape varieties: Auxerrois, pinot noir and gris.
Other activities : -
Certification : -
Domaine Sommy - Auxerrois
Well-balanced wine with a mineral and fruity nose and supple palate. It is well suited for starters, fish dishes, white meat dishes and cheese.
Domaine Sommy - Pinot gris
Floral notes, an ample and fruity attack ending on notes of lemon, which is ideal for pre-dinner drinks, cold starters, fish, and seafood.
Domaine Sommy - Rosé
A strong violet robe, which has strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry aromas, and goes well with summer dishes.