Class of 2022

Martin Texier

Gamechanging Producers

32 / Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban, France

The low-intervention French winemaker promoting artisanal values

Despite being raised in a family of winemakers, with his father Eric Texier making a name for himself as an organic producer in the Rhone Valley in Southern France, Martin Texier followed his own path. He studied economics before focusing on music and DJing, but after working for a wine importer and distributor in New York, he discovered a passion he couldn’t ignore. He moved back to France to follow his father’s footsteps, but he would do so his own way, developing an alternative take on wine. He is now an artisanal, organic winemaker pushing for a new wave of natural, non-manipulated wines, reviving old local varietals and traditions through his label, Martin Texier Wines, which is part of a community of thriving craft producers of cheese, honey and more.

Since 2014, Martin has been producing wines in Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban and Brezème, two small areas that were almost forgotten in winemaking. He continued his father’s work to re-plant and re-develop the area’s vines, but he focused instead on older, lesser-known local varieties such as Cinsault and Clairette that had been abandoned in the last 20 years in favour of popular varieties like Syrah. He doubled the vineyard’s surface area and built a new cellar with renewable materials, but his approach to winemaking remains similar to his father’s, focusing on low intervention and respect for the land. All his vines are grown organically, with native yeast fermentation without added sulphur, and grapes harvested by hand. Martin is also part of an association where volunteers re-plant vines in a village where property development is putting pressure on the land.

“A good winemaker isn't an artist but a poet. As a grower, you can have an impact on your product by knowing your land, your trees, your vines and the weather. I don't think you can create a good wine, but only create an environment where a good wine can come out.” – Martin Texier

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