As the 2021 harvest approaches, Julien Brustis is one of the rare winegrowers to keep a smile. This 30-year-old oenologist and agricultural engineer, originally from Bordeaux, is calmly contemplating the third harvest at his estate, La Bouche du Roi, located in Yvelines. Because its grapes have escaped the multiple climatic accidents of recent months.
“The vintage is later than last year and the maturities are looking good”, rejoices the co-manager of the operation based in Davron, a village of 320 inhabitants near Versailles. Planted from 2017, the vine covers 23 hectares, 10 of which are already suitable for wine, with grape varieties such as chenin, chardonnay and merlot. For a century, it has been the first wine estate in Ile-de-France to establish itself with professional ambition.
Conversion of agricultural land
In Paris and in its basin, the vineyard, which reached up to 40,000 hectares at its peak, suffered the successive attacks of phylloxera (around 1880), industrialization and real estate construction to offer nothing but a folk landscape. With its few vines, the hill of Montmartre is the latest example. In the 2000s, some municipalities, such as Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines) or Suresnes (Hauts-de-Seine), had seen bigger by hiring a winegrower as municipal employee for a few thousand replanted vines.
Thanks to this small production of wine, they were able to constitute a protected geographical indication (PGI) application file, validated in 2020. The concomitant appearance of viticulture in the plain of Versailles has served this creation: “As we had just planted our vines, we entered the IGP recognition process in order to boost it, says Julien Brustis. If the file was justified by associative vines, we were able to give it another scope. We had the chance to benefit from everything that had been done before us. ”
“The quality of our 2019 reassured me! It was exactly what we wanted. Of course, each year, we will improve at the same time as the vineyard asserts itself. “Julien Brustis
Once bottled, the 2020 vintage of La Bouche du Roi, still in aging, will therefore be labeled “IGP Ile-de-France”. A great first that the Chamber of Agriculture encourages: it has set up training courses for farmers who have never practiced viticulture. The land to be planted is scarce in the region, the wine potential of Ile-de-France is therefore based on the conversion of agricultural land. The Domaine de La Bouche du Roi is thus supporting the diversification of six farmers from Yvelines and Essonne, with a ten-year grape purchase contract.
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