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Domaine Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme

Domaine Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme

The story of Domaine Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme begins in fact not with Pierre-Olivier himself, but with Thierry Puzelat. Thierry is a popular figure in Loire Valley wine circles, liked by many, his wines enjoying near-cult status in some quarters. This enviable reputation has been built up over the course of many years working alongside his older brother, Jean-Marie Puzelat, the two having taken on the running of the family domaine, Clos du Tue-Boeuf. This domaine is based in Les Montils, very close to the course of the Loire, just a little way downstream from Blois. Alongside his work with the vines of the Clos du Tue-Boeuf, largely in the Touraine and Cheverny appellations, during the 1990s Thierry began to look for other parcels of interesting vines. In order to facilitate this work he created a négociant label, originally under his own name.

The négociant business was established in 1999; Thierry acquired winemaking facilities in nearby Monthou-sur-Bièvre, and he soon established a network of local viticulteurs, many working organically and even biodynamically, to provide him with fruit. In a number of cases Thierry identified interesting micro-plots of vines, typically backyard affairs consisting of perhaps just a couple of rows, usually planted to provide fruit or wine for personal consumption. As the owners grew more elderly these plots, important facets of the region’s vinous heritage – they frequently featured indigenous and esoteric Loire varieties such as Romorantin, Pineau d’Aunis or Menu Pineau – were often uprooted and lost forever, or simply left to grow wild. Alternatively, the fruit was picked and sold to the local co-operative, and then blended into large-volume, generic cuvées, the potential wine thus losing its individual identity. Thierry set about preserving these vines and wines through his new négociant business.

Domaine Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme

In 2009, as the work of running this side of the business continued to grow, he and the aforementioned Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme (pictured above), a long-term employee, joined forces. This was the birth of the Puzelat-Bonhomme négociant label, which would itself eventually metamorphose into Domaine Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme.

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