Roisin Curley, Nuits St Georges, Les Longcourts 2018
Roisin Curley has a growing reputation for wines of quality and authenticity and her range has expanded from 2 wines (Beaune & St Romain) to 5, including a 1er Cru from Beaune. Roisin is what is referred to as a micro-negotiant, sourcing (organic) grapes from top growers and producing her own wines. Tiny production and with a huge following here in Ireland, we are proud to represent Roisin and her elegant and refined wines – always smiling and her wines will make you smile too!
“Róisín Curley is a pharmacist, working in the family business in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo. At the same time, she makes her own wines in Burgundy, one of the most prestigious French wine regions of all. “It began with a simple love of wine,” says Curley, “and a need to know more, which in turn led to the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) wine courses.” This is the standard path taken by many Irish wine lovers, but Curley took it a lot further. She studied for a masters (and was awarded a scholarship) in viticulture and oenology in Montpellier and Geisenheim Universities in France and Germany.
This was followed by a year at Château Latour in Bordeaux, comparing standard and organic viticulture for her thesis, and then a vintage in Château Grillet in the northern Rhône.
She chose Burgundy as her winemaking home through a series of coincidences. “It was never a dream,” she says, “because I never even thought I could dream about making wine in Burgundy. I am a huge fan, my favourite red grape is Pinot Noir and I love Chardonnay. But it was never my intention from the start to do what I am doing.” She had friends and contacts in Burgundy, and was introduced to the owner of a winemaking facility, who rents out space to small winemakers.
“It snowballed from there. All the time I was pinching myself; I never even tried to do this because I didn’t think it would be possible.”
“I don’t need to be in Beaune all the time. Obviously, I have to be there for the harvest and winemaking, but I have a space that is fully staffed, a whole support system that I can call on anytime I want.
“The toughest part is sourcing the grapes… no actually, to be honest, the toughest part is the French system and the fact that you are dealing with grapes and alcohol. It is so tightly regulated and difficult. The best way to find grapes is to meet the growers and make friends with them. My St. Romain is from guys I know really well. They farm organically too. I go to the vineyards, but they pick the grapes.”
From an article by John Wilson, Irish Times, Dec 2017