Flop-Flip in Provence


Jean-Marc Espinasse sat on the terrace of his new home in the French Provençal coastal town of La Ciotat and contemplated what went wrong.

Three years earlier, Espinasse had launched a daring boutique winery less than five miles to the east, in the heart of Bandol. He began planting Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Ugni Blanc vineyards from scratch with the help of friends and family. Eventually, he planned to build a small cellar on the hillside below the 19th-century farmhouse in which he and his American wife, Kristin, lived.

The 2017 vintage should have been the first from which Espinasse bottled a Bandol appellation rosé under his Mas des Brun label. Instead, he and Kristin sold the farm with its 6 acres of organic vineyards in August and moved.  

"I realized the whole thing was a fiasco," said a subdued Espinasse, who had recently turned 50, looking out over his small, leafy yard that sits a block from a popular beachfront. "I didn't have the financial means to start over. The only way out for us was to sell."

I've known Espinasse from his five years at his first acclaimed estate....read the full blog (free) at winespectator.com