BIRTH OF A SALESMAN: A new type of wine merchant emerges

Call it the boomerang effect.

As the wine world has embraced small growers of late, a shadow has fallen over the once-common concept of the négociant, a merchant who makes wine from bulk amounts of purchased fruit.

But that meaning has been shed recently thanks to a different kind of négociantbringing a small-grower philosophy to the merchant's role.

No one embodies this paradigm shift better than Patrick Piuze in the French village of Chablis. After running a wine bar in Montreal, he moved to Burgundy in 2000 to harvest with legendary winemaker Olivier Leflaive. He then held major posts at Verget and Brocard, two of Chablis's most reputable purveyors.