Christophe Beau of Domaine Beauthorey I would respectfully compare to a medieval herbalist, possibly an alchemist. His commitment to wedding his vines to their earthbound and cosmic influences is sincere, uncluttered and uncompromised. He nurtures many varietals left for dead (aramon, œillade, terret) along with good old syrah, grenache and cinsault. (Oeillade is the irascible cousin of cinsault, banished from family picnics for always upsetting someone, his florid sense of humor being misunderstood.)
Mexico-born-and-bred Christophe reunited with France in the early eighties and found his way to Corconne in the Pic St. Loup appelation. His study of viticulture was begun under an aged friend whose small domaine Christophe acquired in time. It now consists of but 5 hectares. The wines produced are classics of Meridionale rusticity. There is myrtle and thyme and black olive in oil. Plums and rosemary. Walnut and fig. In each bottle is captured the essence of what the seasons have bestowed upon the twisted little vines in this hidden valley.
We have spent time with Christophe in Portland, San Francisco, the Loire and Corconne and never a more pleasant fellow have we met. Should you encounter him along some lonely, dusty path gathering herbs, be thankful and send our regards.