- Beaujolais, France
“Georges Descombes is one of the stalwarts of Beaujolais. Inspired by the late Marcel Lapierre in the early 1980s when he worked for his father’s bottling company, he is one of the more well-known of the natural producers since taking over the domaine in the hamlet of Vermont from his father in 1988, with all but a half a hectare to his name. Some refer to him as the unofficial fifth member of the “Gang of Four.” Nowadays, he farms about 16 hectares in Brouilly, Régnié, Morgon, Beaujolais Villages, Beaujolais and Chiroubles, the vineyard husbandry organic (certified Ecocert) and using just copper and sulfur.” —Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate, Issue 213, 6/26/14
Georges Descombes grew up working in the vineyard with his vigneron father and drinking the wines of their family friends, including the famed "Gang of Four" of Beaujolais, among which his family's wines were considered an unofficial fifth; he came to admire the purity and elegance of Marcel Lapierre's wines particularly. Taking over the family winery in 1988, Georges took the farming in an organic direction (now certified) for its fifteen hectares (some fruit is sourced as well). Grapes are hand-harvested in whole clusters and fermented with natural yeasts in a cold semi-carbonic maceration which is traditional in Beaujolais; minimal sulfur is used at bottling. The old-vine bottlings are Georges’ true passion and receive extra bottle aging before release.