Who: Jean-Paul Versino.
What: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône.
Where: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vaucluse.
When: Since 1955.

The Story

Jean-Paul Versino is one of the most affable and enthusiastic vignerons we know. He’s also one of the few remaining producers in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to work traditionally (a blend of all the terroirs of the Appellation, very old vines, whole bunch fermentation with natural yeasts, minimal intervention and long ageing in foudre). And he consistently produces great wine.

The estate was founded in the 1950s by Jean-Paul’s father, Jean Versino, whose family came from Piemonte in the 1930s. Jean had no choice but to start work in wine cellars from the age of 15, and within a few years started to acquire his own parcels of vines to make wine. Jean-Paul started working with his father in the 1980s and maintained the traditional practices he learned from his father, who himself had learned from those who’d made wine in the early twentieth century.

With a good understanding of the terroir and the elements required to make great wine, Jean acquired more than 25 different parcels of old vines over 15ha on all the different soils of the Appellation. Jean and Jean-Paul never adopted the chemical viticulture recommended by the salesmen and laboratories of the 1970s and 80s and widely used by nearly everyone else. Nor did they rip out old vines to plant more productive young vines, so that today the estate has some of the oldest vines in the Appellation mostly between 40 and 100 years old. This means that the wines benefit from all the complexity brought by old vines grown organically on a mosaic of soils, clay, sand, limestone and gravels. Moreover, most of the parcels are surrounded by woods and forest, which both cools the vines and adds biodiversity. Work is still carried out by hand, for example, using a pioche to clean around the vine trunk in the Spring after a first ploughing.

In the cellar, vinification is intended to produce a wine with elegance and complexity rather than power and fruit. The wine is made using whole bunches by infusion (without the extraction that can release bitter oils from the stems), using natural yeasts and minimal sulfites, with long ageing in old foudres. Most other producers nowadays de-stem, use commercial yeasts, and bottle within the year. Of the best known producers in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, only Rayas and Charvin, in particular, work similarly. Using whole bunch gives a much more elegant and aromatic (but less fruity, and therefore less “modern” wine than de-stemmed but the producer has to work harder in the vines and possess well-sited vines to get ripe stems.

Until thirty years ago or so all of the great wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape were similarly elegant and aromatic, but today Bois de Boursan tastes very different from its peers. It has tremendous finesse, freshness, perfume, texture and energy. The wines can seem a little light at first, partly because you’re used to highly extracted, super-ripe, powerful wines and partly because whole bunch tannins build slowly on the palate – like the best wines of Bourgogne. But with attention you notice the richness and depth.


ドメーヌは1930年代にピエモンテから移ってきた父のジーン・ヴェルシノによって1950年代に設立されました。ジーンはワインを作りの為、畑を得るために15歳の時から働き始めました。 ジャンポールは1980年から父と一緒にワイン造りを始め、彼自身で20世紀の伝統的なシャトーヌフ・ド・パプの造りを学びました。






Bois de Boursan Location