There’s more fashion to wine than most people realise. For all the talk of the winemaker as “midwife”, translating the fruit into the best possible expression of the site, the process is driven by many options beyond the selection of site and variety.

Clos St Jacques in Gevrey Chambertin, France, is 6.7ha in extent, divided into five strips running parallel to each other down the slope of the Cote d’Or. Each of the five owners, working only with pinot noir vines of about the same age, makes a palpably different wine. While the five parcels differ in size, it’s not possible to attribute these differences to terroir, slope, aspect or variety. The wines are different because different winemaking choices produce different intended aesthetic outcomes.

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