Jean-Baptiste Sénat is the perfect example of a storyline that’s played out time and again in the French wine world: a well-educated Parisian drops everything to embrace his real passion, and heads south to become a vigneron. With degrees in history and political science, and a love of Greek philosophy,he slammed the door on a brilliant career that felt too preordained... In 1995, he surprised his family with the news, and headed south for Trausse, in the appellation of Minervois. The first years saw him come to terms with the brutal reality of the vigneron’s life. But Jean-Baptiste, like Odysseus, would need only to draw on his mètis, his wisdom and cunning, to finally trace his own path. Today, the estate holds 16 hectares, and is seen as an archetype of the new generation of French wine. And after 18 harvests, it has certainly reached maturity. The vines are farmed organically, certified by Ecocert, with meticulous green pruning and weeding by done by hand, just as the harvest which is collected in small crates. Vinification is done with finesse and is never systematic, but adapted to each vintage. For the Sénats, there is no one sacred grape variety or transcendental terroir. They take what’s given them by the estate, which happily includes parcels of formerly neglected century-old vines, and what results is an entire range of wines of high and consistent quality.