Jean-Marc BRUN – Domaine Beau Mistral
Jean-Marc BRUN © Photo A.O.C RASTEAU
Jean-Marc Brun started out with nothing. To start with, Jean Marc’s wines were sold in bulk
“It was a blank slate,” the 51-year-old gentle giant remembers with a smile. Well, not completely blank; his father had farmed a few hectares in the past, as part of the cooperative.
When Jean-Marc decided to become a winemaker in 1987, he rented a winery at the centre of the village. “I started off making wine in the open air – my winery still needed an awful lot of work. My friends came to visit… and I didn’t have a roof! It was quite funny, but not particularly practical – and certainly not up to accepted standards.”
But it would take more than this to discourage Jean- Marc, who had just discovered a passion for wine and winemaking.
“It didn’t all come together straight away. At first, I learned by watching the vignerons and winemakers. Then one day it just hit me – and I haven’t looked back since.”
These days, Jean-Marc is comfortable in his role as business manager. He has 2 employees, plus a number of casual workers. As head of his winery – which was finally built in 1999 – he takes on numerous roles including winegrower, winemaker, business manager, travelling salesman and … the boss.
through dealers. Then he began to develop sales of bottled wine. He put on his salesman’s hat, attended a string of trade events and began entering wine competitions, where he regularly won awards. He gradually built up a loyal following in all four corners of the earth – including China and New Zealand.
“It’s hard to explain the secret of our success: I’m sure pure luck had a part to play. It didn’t happen overnight, but I think it’s fair to say that things aren’t going too badly at all.”
One of the Domaine’s unique features is the ability to develop terroir-driven cuvées based on the fragmented, diverse nature of the vineyard layout. Jean-Marc produces a range of dry Rasteau reds of varying styles, working with grapes from different sectors of the vineyard and with different blends. He spends long hours in the winery testing his wines; these can be fairly light when the desired effect is universal appeal; or much more powerful when made with grapes from old vines planted on the hillsides.
So for example, the Domaine’s Cuvée Florianaëlle showcases Grenache with an elegant hint of oak, while Saint-Martin is much more a wine for Syrah lovers.