Eric Texier Eng
Down to earth and unpretentious, Eric Texier is considered a cult wine producer in France and abroad even though he is not yet known to a larger audience. Texier is, against his will, often profiled as a natural wine maker. He makes wines from three different areas: Northern and Southern Rhône as well as the Mâconnais.
In total, Texier’s plots add up to c.20ha. Each wine is vinified in its own appellation but aged in Eric’s home cellar. Texier’s philosophy is based on respecting the terroir which explains the unique personality of his wines. The winemaker’s intervention into nature’s processes is kept to a minimum throughout production so that the wines will show their terroirs. Everything is made organically. According to Texier’s philosophy, wines cannot be forced into moulds dictated by the market and more important than perennially changing fashions is to care for the vines and to bring a vision to the winemaking process. Eric’s wines are the ultimate terroir wines.
Texier ferments using only wild yeasts. He chooses the material of the fermentation vats – steel, concrete, oak – based on the characteristics of the grape and vintage. Sulphur additions are minimized and the winemaking is a hands-off process as far as possible. Ageing is in traditional oak barriques and in larger demi-muids of 450 l. Use of new oak is limited so that oak wouldn’t overwhelm the grapes’ characteristics or the terroir, which is always allowed to shine brightly.
Texier had a long career as a nuclear engineer before he decided to move from a safe career to something riskier. He received a degree in oenology and became a négociant-winemaker. At first Texier scouted the most interesting plots all around the Rhône valley and then sorted out the best growers who produced the healthiest and most concentrated grapes. Texier would then buy their crop and make the wine. Slowly, having gained experience, the internationally acclaimed Texier also bought his own vineyards in the northern areas of Brézème, Côte Rôtie and Condrieu. With an academic background, Texier is also an accomplished wordsmith with regular pieces on organic farming appearing in, for example, The San Francisco Chronicle.