Instead, he would be just another name on a door in an industrial process design office. Thankfully, the young mechanical engineering student preferred a full glass to tempered steel.
From an early age, a true culture of eating well naturally led him to wine, awakening an appetite for tasting, and developing in him the vigneron’s way of thinking. In 1987, the gates of the estate founded by his grandfather opened for Yves. Aged barely twenty-five, and an absolute beginner, he stepped forward without hesitation. Thirty years later, he has made a name for himself, and then some: a place among the Côtes-du-Rhône greats.
Though always full of plans, he is anything but a superman. Just a mortal with no time for cookie-cutter thinking. David Bowie’s appealing idea, “everything remains unclear until the end”, suits him well. “You can never understand everything, and that’s what makes wine interesting. Vintages are never the same – our tastes change, our wines change. And you can always go further…” So Yves is still learning. Learning about two millennia of vine cultivation around Vienne, for example, a swathe of history that fascinates him; about vines, and how seeking the best possible grapes will, in his view, almost wholly determine the result in bottle; about grape varieties, for he is safeguarding endangered local ones; about winemaking, which he likes to be simple and traditional, without technology or tricks; about production facilities, which he has developed considerably…
Whatever the topic, whatever the terroir, Yves Cuilleron essentially just wants to hang on to himself. At the end of the day, wine reflects the winegrower… And his wine is good!