Herve Ravera is an amazing guy. I met him for the first time in October, 2014 and left the meeting feeling that not only had I just tasted a small range of very exciting and delicious wines but that I had met someone with whom I would be friends for many years. He is serious, modest, very hard working and likeable.
After years working in nursing, Hervé decided he wanted to work with the earth and use his hands and decided that making natural wine would be his new path.
In 2007 he purchased a small, 2ha parcel of Gamay in the remarkably beautiful village of Marchampt, in the south-west of Beaujolais, where he lives with his wife and children.
The parcel is steep, situated at 500m above sea level and is south facing. The site is littered with very old stones, a mix of schist and volcanic, some silt and plenty of sand.
The vines are all goblet and the site has zero tractor compaction. Herve turns the topsoil annually with the help of a horse only. During the year, in the vineyard, Herve works alone. His aim for the site is to promote as much health and biodiversity as possible. In the winery, the fruit is never de-stemmed and elevage vessels are largely made from concrete.
The wines are not fined or filtered and sulfur is not used at all in the winery. The sorting and fruit selection is done very, very diligently.
I really, really like this style of wine. The altitude and soil here give the wines a very distinct freshness and digestibility. They are delicious when served at about 16 degrees. Hervé produces two cuvees from the two sections of the vineyard, ‘Roue Libre’ from the lower slope and ‘500m’ from the more elevated parcel.
I’m extraordinarily proud to be working with this truly artisan producer.
Words by CB