Name: Bernard Duseigneur
Currently: Winemaker/Owner of Domaine Duseigneur
Please, tell us about how you got into wine, the wine industry and how your career developed?
I am the fifth generation of wine maker in my family. But I started my career as a banker and only got back to my roots and took over the family business when I felt ready for it in 2002.
Domaine Duseigneur’s estate has been created by my father in the late 60’s when my family settled down in the south of France coming from Algeria after the independence war. My father planted the vineyard on hill sides that had never been cultivated before. As he never used any chemicals our land has always being organically farmed. When I took the vineyard over, I decided to apply for Biodynamics as I realized it was the best way to truly express the sense of soil and the minerality into my wines. Now the estate is spread across both sides of the river Rhône covering about 80 acres, half of it being in Châteauneuf du Pape where the winery is located.
Of course, it is great to make a living from my passion. But I also like the idea of playing a small part of a long history in the French wine tradition. And I hope to pass on an exciting project and a healthier land to my successors.
What is your philosophy to making wine and viticulture?
Working with Nature as a team work and preserving the natural harmony I am trying to create over the years in my vineyards. That means not using any weed or pest killers, nor synthetic fertilizers but also trying to enhance the biodiversity by keeping land unplanted next to the vineyard.
My workis to organize things so the vine can benefit from a healthy soil where the root system will go deeply down and express the mineral quality in my wines. I haven’t found a more efficient toll box than biodynamics to do that !
Which cultivar is your favourite to work with and why?
If you mean which varietal I prefer to grow, I will surely answer Grenache. In Chateauneuf du Pape Grenache is the king. In a good vintage it can express strength and finesse at the same time with and extraordinary rich pallet of aromas.
How do you see the future of wine production and what are the challenges and the opportunities?
The Southern Rhône area is blessed with the holy trinity of sun, wind and the famous stones. Over here ripeness is rarely a problem, but over-ripeness could lead to a lack of freshness. We have to be very careful in keeping the right balance of alcohol, acidity and tannins.
The real concern over here is water management. Long and dry summers seem to be the new standard now and irrigation is not yet common in the French vineyards. That is probably our biggest challenge over the next decade.
Where do you see the global wine market in 2025?
Very positively since more people are enjoying wine around the world every year. There is a long history of wine making but there is also a bright future ahead !
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – www.sommelier-jobs.com