Portrait of a wine producer: Henri Milan, ProvenceThursday May 13th, 2010
With his singing accent from the South of France (the most beautiful accent in the world, isn’t it? 😉 ) and his joie de vivre, Henri Milan is a man that immediatly makes you feel good. Funnily enough, it is exactly the same for his wines… They transport you in the Provence garrigues with the singing cicadas and the sun and make you feel… happy! Once you know that, you understand why Henri has chosen a flashy fuschia pink for his labels.
Henri took over the destiny of the estate located at the foothills of the “Alpilles” near Aix en Provence in 1986. The Domaine was previously run by his father. Right from the start he had the ambition to make the best wine in total respect of nature. As a matter of fact, the soil had been spoiled by chemicals during the 70’s and the beginning of the 80’s and there was a lot to do to bring it back to its best potential. Being fascinated by Burgundy wines, he worked, observed and experimented a lot to differentiate different terroirs and create different cuvees on his domaine. But it was a meeting with Claude Bourguignon, a famous French microbiologist, that was about to change the Domaine’s destiny in 1996. Claude Bourguignon immediately spotted the huge potential of the soils of the place. In addition to that, he introduced Henri to biodynamics approaches applied to soil preservation.
Together with his colleagues Kad and Sebastien, Henri has managed to revive the soil and the wine is now expressing all its potential. Wines that “speak first to the body and soul before speaking to the reason of the one who tastes them”, as Henri says.