Louis Morel

Where are you from ?

I'm a true Jurassian; I come from Poligny, a neighboring town of Arbois.

What was your relationship with wine during your childhood?

My father was a winemaker,so I was always surrounded by vineyards from a very young age. As an anecdote,my brother and I were punished by being sent to the vineyards. At that time, I swore I would never work there later! 

I have many memories of the harvest periods, especially of distillation, which were among the best moments of my childhood. There was a special atmosphere, and we were allowed to stay up late. I also remember those long evenings by the still, fascinating,and the bike ride back, our fingers frozen in the dark of winter, without complaining if we wanted to go back the next day.

How did you get in to the world of wine?

I guess you could say I fell into it! Nature has always attracted me, and I even considered a career as a landscaper for a while. However, my roots ultimately had a stronger pull.

I was never a very academic student; I need something concrete. After completing my BEP (vocational diploma) in Beaune, I immediately jumped into the working world.

What are your experiences?

I have a fond memory of my first viticultural experience outside of my family circle. Still a student, I was hired by Domaine Courbis in the Rhône to pick apricots. During the summer, they eventually hired me to work in the vineyards, and I ended upstaying for two seasons. 

After that initial experience, I spent a year at Maison Gouillaud in Pupillin. Then, I spent 11 years at Grands Chais de France as the Chief of Culture. 

In October 2016, I joined Domaine Rolet as their Vineyard Master. I am responsible for a team of around ten permanent employees, which grows significantly during the harvest or seasonal work. I love managing stress, and I enjoy solving problems.

Why Rolet ?

I hesitated a lot when the opportunity to join Domaine Rolet arose because I thought it might be complicated to integrate into a family-owned winery run by four siblings, one of whom was already responsible for vineyard management. 

However, being from the Jura, I was already familiar with the Domaine and its reputation. I knew that the teams were efficient and hardworking, and there was real potential for development, with ambitious projects emerging since 2018. 

I have no regrets ; Rolet has brought me the challenge, renewal, a more complex working area, and a dynamic and passionate team.

What are the future challenges for the Domaine?

The first challenge is the renewal of the vineyard with the up rooting of ageing plots. Currently, the average age of our vines is 45 years, which is an asset for grape quality but also a challenge for mechanization due to the larger vine size. 

We are lucky to have a very high-quality vineyard that allows us to introduce and work with massal selections of our own wood, preserving our identity and benefiting our plantations. These new plantings are, of course, conducted in organic viticulture. 

Another upcoming challenge is managing new climate constraints. Since 2017, frost and hail have become repetitive events, where as they used to occur only every 10-15 years. Weneed to find solutions and adapt to these changes. We are trying to prune some parcels later. 

We also need to review our logistics because pruning is the most important and precious vineyard work for the plant, but this work is currently entirely done manually by our team.Late pruning across our extensive vineyard in three months to combat frost is complex to implement.