Insider’s Guide to Bordeaux – Wine-Making: Jean-Michel Garcion

Jean-Michel Garcion is the wine-maker at Demour – a family owned negociant that owns a number of Bordeaux estates including Ch. La Croizille (St. Emilion), Ch. Haut Breton Larigaudiere (Margaux), Ch. La Tour Baladoz (St. Emilion), and Ch. Tayet (Bordeaux Superier).

Jean-Michel Garcion is a driven man. He did his studies in viticulture and oenology and later on a specialization in commercial business. He worked in a vine nursery (the choice of an adapted vine plant is primordial for the wine’s quality) and different French wineries making red, white (dry and sweet), sparkling wine (champenois and charmat methods) and distillation of wine and fruits for spirits. For a period of 10 years he followed practical training in different wine countries like Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zeland, USA and Spain to acquire his expertise and know-how.

With an open mind and a lot of experience, he became Jacques De Schepper’s right-hand man at Demour in 1991.

Today we interviewed him about his thoughts on Bordeaux vintages. Note: this interview was translated from French.

1. Which young wine-maker (or wine-makers) in Bordeaux will we be hearing about a lot about over the next 10-15 years?
It is difficult to know, I honestly do not know because it is not enough to discover a good grower you must also take into account the fashion trends.2. What are your thoughts on the oak / no-oak Motions Motions for Bordeaux wines?There are great wines that are oaked and great wines that are not. It is again a matter of personal taste.3. What are your thoughts on the worldwide impact of consultants wine from Bordeaux and the wines That They create? Do you think there is an emerging international style of wine?

Unfortunately, yes. There is actually a standardization of wines and we are strongly opposed to it. We want to give free expression of terroir of our properties through authentic varieties.

4. What changes in wine-making do you think we will see in Bordeaux in the next 10 years? What important trends, processes, etc. we should expect to see?

I think we will see two main phenomena: a return on fruit wines and a tendency for less alcoholic wines. The return on fruit involves breeding with very little heat, but this is opposed to the marketing of vegetables. The decrease in alcoholic involves a rebalancing in the proportion of grapes during assembly, such as an increase of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and Merlot reduction. My hope is to keep our originality in the future, terroir and grape authentic

5. What effect do you think the organic, biodynamic, and natural wine movements will be Have Bordeaux wines, if any?

This is a trend that the duration of and intensity of we can not predict. Winemakers who convert to organic farming are not always convinced of the values of it but are doing it for economic reasons. Even if it is possible to produce an organic wine, this represents great difficulties in some vineyards, with serious consequences for the harvest.
I’m all for rational control, it is done in all our vineyards. We use the minimum dose and thoughtful treatment, we preserve the agricultural environment, we soil maintenance and fertilization, we treat effluents and waste management clients.
We would like to thank Mr. Garcion for his time and generous answers.  If there is a wine mentioned in this interview that you would like to try – please contact me at cody@rooftopcellars.com and I will try and find it for you.