Alice Bouvot started from scratch in the Arbois region of Jura in 2004 when she bought a small cellar and a couple of hectares of vines in the surrounding hills. The plots now reach around 5 hectares of vines of Chardonnay, Savagnin, Poulsard, Trousseau and Pinot Noir. The vineyards are demeter certified biodynamic farmed and include some of the best recognized names in France; En Curon, La Mailloche, Les Nouvelles and Les Corvées. The work in the vineyard is carried out by hand, wild grass, weeds, insects and animals share the space in the vineyards and helps creating an ecosystem that gives a deeper meaning to the wines of L’Octavin.
There is no recipe at L’Octavin, the winemaking is dynamic, she compares it to improvising music, not playing by the notes. It is not technically perfect but it has emotions and feelings. The decisions is being made only once the grapes has arrived in the cellar. The grapes are fermented in fiber glass or barrels with indigenous yeasts with no temperature control, the elevage varies from parcel to parcel and vintage to vintage. It’s a refreshingly free approach that gives stunning wines of real character, where each wine is as nourishing, delicious and exciting as the last. She doesn’t use any additions in the wines, sulfits are never added at any stage, they are not filtered or fined. Most of the wines reflects a single plot expression like the Don Giovanni from a plot of very old Pinot Noir and some Chardonnay where the cuvée merge these two grapes in to something truly unique.
L’Octavin produces an impressive line up in their small winery. Some are classical Jura wines like the Pamina Chardonnay and the Dorabella Poulsard, while others are fascinating wines with quite a different and surprising touch like the Culrond Poulsard which is vinified as a white wine even though the grapes are red or the Zerlina which is a blend of Trousseau with Pinot Noir.