When it comes to winemaking, Xavier Vignon has been playing at the top of his game for nigh on 20 years. As one of Europe’s most in-demand oenologists, at times consulting for over 200 different wineries, Vignon obviously knows his stuff, and yet with all these vinous responsibilities he somehow manages to exude the youthful enthusiasm, vigour, and sense of humour of a man half his age… I put it down to the polyphenols.
We started off recording a standard interview about his background in Champagne, Languedoc, Alsace, Bordeaux, Australia, and New Zealand, discussing how these experiences went on to shape his undeniably well-crafted wines. All was going according to plan until we touched upon the topic of minerals in wine. This is obviously something pretty close to Xavier’s (scientist’s) heart, as he began an amazing diatribe that had me hooked from start to finish, and even then we barely managed to scratch the surface of his knowledge on the subject.
To be continued, that is for sure, as Xavier is an extremely interesting fellow.