We’re continue to preview the wines for the upcoming Go-Getter Girls & Grapes on May 17th! Go-Getter Girls & Grapes is a women’s professional networking and wine tasting evening, featuring global wines made by female winemakers and owners. Tickets are $15 and are still available at http://www.elizabethmillerwine.com/gogettergirlsgrapes. Missed Wine #1? Catch up on Preview #1: The Lady of Morellino
Bravery is not absent in Valentina Buoso. When she took over as winemaker at Pascal Jolivet in the Loire Valley in 2013, she was filling the shoes of a predecessor with 22 years at the renowned domaine. Her 2015 Sancerre Rosé, which we’ll taste at the upcoming Go-Getter Girls & Grapes, is proof that she’s not only filled those shoes, but she’s running in them.
Ms. Buoso and I recently discussed her winemaking background in a transatlantic email conversation. She grew up in northeastern Italy, in a small village between Venice and Verona. Though she was surrounded by wine production, in the area best known for Prosecco and Valpolicella, it wasn’t until the age of 16 that she became interested through a tasting course at school.
“My tasting professor at that time introduced me to the wine world, then little by little I started to study oenology and the passion came alone, more and more deep,” Ms. Buoso shared.
Once the passion was discovered, education followed: three years of university in Conegliano in the Prosecco region, two years in Tourin close to Barolo, and her European Master Degree in France both in Montpellier and Bordeaux. At the beginning of her career, Ms Buoso’s interest in research led her to one of the best research institutes in Italy, in Asti, with a study of wild yeast. Soon, she was ready for more. “After two years I decide to leave Italy to improve my practical knowledge and see what was happening overseas.”
Ms. Buoso’s travels brought her here to the states, visiting Oregon and Washington. An international resume began to grow: assistant winemaker at New Zealand’s Elephant’s Hill, Cape Mentelle in Australia, California’s Alder’s Springs in the Mendocino region, work in France in Limoux and Bordeaux’s Saint Emilion, and the Colchagua Valley in Chile.
In 2013, she was ready for Pascal Jolivet. The domaine was losing its long time winemaker, and Ms. Buoso responded to a posting on the VitiJob website. The house of Pascal Jolivet in France’s Loire Valley is renowned for its quality wines. Since its inception in 1982, Pascal Jolivet has acquired prominent plots within Sancerre and Pouilly Fume.
A shared philosophy was clear: “Pascal and I, we are very close in terms of winemaking style, we have the same points of view concerning the respect of the nature and the grapes. I like to make wine with the aim to leave the terroir expressing by itself.”
Since taking the helm, Ms. Buoso works with organic grapes to produce quality wine with minimal intervention and chemical adjustments. “I like to work as natural as possible with different kinds of material (steel stainless, wood, concrete, clay…) without any addition, just like this the terroir can tell us something.”
At Go-Getter Girls & Grapes, we’ll taste the Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Rosé 2015. It’s composed of 100% Pinot Noir, which Ms. Buoso loves, finding it one of the most difficult varieties to work with, yet making the best wine. It’s a pale salmon color, with elegant layers of berries and a crisp finish. Yum!
Stay tuned for Winemaker #3 coming soon!