Les Equilibristes, Various France

In many ways Les Équilibristes is a platform for collaboration rather than a traditional négociant winery. François de Monval (restaurateur and wine merchant in Paris) and Florent Girou (Vigneron in Bergerac) began the collaboration in 2015, with the aim of creating a collective of growers who could share ideas and knowledge to further their practises in their respective wineries. In their own words:

“Each wine is unique, always reflecting a singular expression. More specifically the wine must be different from the ones usually crafted by thewinemaker, as a sign of how he or she went with the flow by taking part to the collective!”

Each of the wines is made in situ, in collaboration with Florent and François and by extension the collective of other growers. Only after the wines have been made and bottled at their origin are they shipped to Les Equilibristes own cellars in Bergerac for distribution. The manifesto for this collaboration includes:

  • Minimum organic viticulture.
  • Highlighting grape varieties which are most linked to the terroir in question.
  • Massale selected vineyards.
  • biodynamic practice (whether certified or not).
  • Indigenous yeasts only.
  • No use of corrective products.
  • Choice of neutral and porous containers for aging.
  • Low sulphite use.

The name of the project translates as ‘tightrope walkers’ and originates from Florent and François love for “wines that stand on the verge, aerial, elegant with little guarantees but a lot of self-control”.