I have fallen in love with Pierre-François Terrat – as a winemaker of course!
For the last 15 years, Pierre has been making wine in his winery Domaine les Béates just outside of Aix-en-Provence, France, where I have had the privilege of meeting and talking to him in person several times over the past year.
What I noticed first about this French winemaker is that always has a twinkle in his eye – and he has an infectious laugh that makes you want to spend time with him. It’s obvious that he loves his “job” and that he’s passionate about his boutique winery, his grapes, where he lives, and above all, his wine!
Pierre is one of those people who came to winemaking a little later in life. He originally worked in the textile industry which is a far cry from winemaking. He learned the process of winemaking on the job – as he says, he didn’t have time to learn the theory: he just jumped in and with the help of many people around him who shared their knowledge, was able to learn all about the tradecraft and magic of making wine. I can attest to his ability to make great wine because every time I visit him at his winery, I always buy a lot more than just one bottle. It’s hard not to – his wines are full of flavour and reflect the French countryside where the vines are grown. And to be honest, I completely fell for him when he told me that “I make wines that I like and that match the food that I like to eat.” No one can argue with that philosophy. Pierre is proud of his wines... and he should be!
Each time I open a bottle of Pierre’s delicious wine when I’m at home, I can see him standing on a hillside on his estate... I can see him open a bottle of wine at his tasting bar... I can hear the “POP” of a cork being pulled out... and I can hear him LAUGH.
Spending time with Pierre is just a whole bunch of fun! Whether it’s trying to push down some must in the winery, looking at his collection of old bottles, sipping his wines at his trestle table, or even jostling up the trails and ruts while in his jeep as we travel to the top of one of his vineyards: everything we do with Pierre is entertaining. And because this French winemaker extraordinaire is so willing to share his knowledge and passion about wine, I always learn something from him!