Domaine de la Voute des Crozes

Having trained as an oenologist and working briefly in California, Nicole Chanrion came back to the family domaine to work beside her father, before taking over in 1988.

It says much about her that she overcame the male-dominated world of Beaujolais at that time and the doubts of her mother, who felt that winemaking was a man's job, to make such a success of the domaine. She works immensely hard and largely alone, almost single-handedly tending the 6.5 hectares of vines on the volcanic blue schist at the heart of the Côte-de-Brouilly, from winter pruning, to managing the canopy, and driving a tractor to bottling the wine.

All this personal effort means that she has a rare insight into, and control over, every aspect of the growing and winemaking process. She oversees the hand-harvesting of the grapes and ferments whole bunches before giving the wines a minimum of nine months in great oak foudres. Bottling is carried out without filtration. The esteem with which she is regarded locally saw her become president of the Côte-de-Brouilly appellation in 2000.