Jean-Charles Boisset, the Burgundy-born head of Boisset America, has been busy expanding his footprint in California, but that’s not all the wine bigwig has been up to. His company just opened Taste of Terroir, a visitor center on Healdsburg’s Town Square, and is launching a biodynamic educational experience at Raymond Vineyards—their Napa Valley property. And when he’s not building an empire, Boisset is becoming increasingly involved in anti-hunger charity work. We caught up him to get details on his latest endeavors:
Wine Enthusiast: Why do you call the new Healdsburg center “Taste of Terroir”?
Jean-Charles Boisset: Because it’s the only cross-cultural tasting room in California. You can taste three dozen different Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from two parts of the world, Burgundy and Sonoma County, through a diverse range of flights. Everything from DeLoach and our JCB line of Russian River Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays through Grand Cru Burgundies. (Boisset Taste of Terroir: Sonoma Meets Burgundy, 320 Center Street, Healdsburg)
WE: What is the biodynamic experience at Raymond like?
JCB: It’s what I call the theatre of nature; an entire natural experience to engage people in the ecosystem and the world around them. They will get an experience of all the biodynamic trends: How the preparation works, the animals on the farm, how the moon interacts with the earth. We have a three-acre demonstration farm. This is the first visitor’s center in Napa Valley to focus on biodynamic winemaking. (Raymond Vineyards, 849 Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena, CA)
WE: You’ve been stepping up your anti-hunger work through DeLoach. Tell us about it.
JCB: Yes. We’ve dedicated the profits of our 2009 Vinthropic Sonoma County Chardonnay to the Fight Against Hunger campaign that our parent company, Boisset Family Estates, began last summer. All proceeds from the sale of the wine will be contribuited to the Redwood Empire Food Bank. That’s a big deal for me. It’s very important when times are tough for everyone to give back. (boissetfamilyestates.com/fightagainsthunger)