Maison en Belles Lies
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Country of Origin: France
Location: Saint-Aubin, Côte de Beaune
People: Pierre Fenals, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Biodynamic
Pierre Fenals, the hand behind Maison En Belles Lies, began his professional life in the fashion industry before catching the wine bug. As is the way with biodynamics, the universe conspired to introduce Pierre to Rudolf Steiner through happenstance. He bought one of Steiner’s book on a whim at a Parisian flea market and thus began his journey from cloth to vine (at age 52). This path included raising cows (to learn farming biodynamically) and interning with Trapet, Lapierre, and Emmanuel Giboulot. In 2002 he purchased his first 2.5 hectares of vines in Maranges and in the Hautes Côtes de Beaune. He now also rents and owns vines in Santenay, Monthelie and Corton including a plot of Le Corton itself.
As for the name Belles Lies, it derives from a practice developed by 17th century monks who would dry their barrels and rub them with the lees from the previous vintage. A fitting technique for a vigneron who is yielding pure, traditional translations of place.
Pierre biodynamically farms and uses no sulfur, no commercial yeast, no chaptalization, no additives, no fining and no filtration. Each vineyard parcel gets its own fermentation vat; normally stainless steel for whites and old oak for the reds. Fenals lets his red grapes macerate whole for one lunar cycle before pressing them, picking them during a rising moon and then pressing when it sets. He macerates whole bunches, never de-stemming his reds. He uses natural corks that have been branded with a hot iron instead of printed with ink; he says that the ink changes the flavor of the wine.
Fish & Game Quarterly: Pierre Fenals