VERGET & GUFFENS-HEYNEN
VERGET is the name of the négoce owned and run by Jean-Marie Guffens in the Maconnais. He also has a small Macon domaine, Domaine Guffens-Heynen, which makes some of the greatest white wine in the world. Finally he has an outpost in the south of France, Chateau des Tourettes.
Jean-Marie is a transplanted Belgian, having arrived in the Maconnais in the 1980’s, determined to make wine. Good wine. By any measure he has succeeded.
In 1990, after 5 years as a wine broker, Jean-Marie Guffens founded his own négociant company, Verget. His conviction was and still is that « the best wine is made using the best grapes ». He buys only handpicked grapes. Loaded into 40 kg cases to preserve them from bruising, they are trucked back to Verget, re-sorted if needed and pressed using a pneumatic press. There is total control of the winemaking process. All wines are vinified, ‘raised’ and bottled at Verget. Focus is on the use of lees, on the gentlest-possible handling of the fruit and the young wine, and on barrel fermentation. The resulting wines display precision, sharpness of fruit and considerable minerality allied to textural richness.
Lionized in the 1990’s as one of the greatest white wine-makers in the world he receded from the spotlight in the 2000’s. Never shy, his unvarnished opinions had alienated neighbors, importers and even journalists. His public presence became smaller, as he combatted a witch-hunt by the tax authorities, one he is sure was driven by local jealousies. He was completely vindicated in court.
As his stage shrank, his performance never wavered. His wines have never been better. He continues to single-handedly prove that a negoce can be as faithful to terroir as a domaine, and that talent always trumps complacency. Happily the market is swinging back to him. France’s leading wine magazine has once again named him one of France’s greatest wine-makers.
He makes a huge range of wines, the names of which change with infuriating frequency. This list is partial, and already obsolete.
Verget Chablis ‘Cuvee de la Butte’
Verget Chablis 1er Cru ‘Mont de Milieu’
Verget Puligny Montrachet ‘sous le Puits’
Verget Pouilly Fuissé ‘La Roche’
Verget Saint Véran ‘Vigne de St Claude’
Verget Macon Villages ‘Terres de Pierres’
Verget Macon Villages ‘Grand Elevage’
Verget Macon Vergisson ‘La Roche’
Verget Macon Charnay ‘Clos Saint Pierre’
Verget Macon Bussieres ‘Montbrison’
Verget Bourgogne Blanc ‘Terres de Pierres’
Verget Bourgogne Blanc ‘Grand Elevage’
Verget Vin de France Chardonnay
Guffens au Sud Classic Marsanne Roussanne Vaucluse
Guffens au Sud Vaucluse
Verget Vin de France Merlot/Syrah
Guffens au Sud Syrah Vaucluse
Domaine Guffens-Heynen Saint-Véran
Domaine Guffens-Heynen Saint-Véran ‘Clos de Poncetys’
Domaine Guffens-Heynen Pouilly-Fuissé ‘C.C.’
Point of Sale