Franck Bessone

The appellation of MOULIN À VENT was created in 1924, but the Bessone family already had winemakers working on the fields since 1918! So you could say that they’ve always been ahead of the curve!

Today Frank, from the 4th generation of winemakers to work the domain, has a vision to use modern techniques associated with old vinification methods handed down by previous generations to maintain a quality and typicality of their wines. The result is that their Moulin à vent, Fleurie, Chenas and Saint Amour are worthy of the reputation of great wines.

The Domaine du Granit is located 60 km from Lyon, the terroir is mainly granitic soils with quartzite pebbles. Most of the vines are south-east to east facing and grow at an altitude of 230-280m above sea level.

Frank knows that Gamay when left uncontrolled can produce high yields and uninteresting wines so he puts great emphasis on controlling the vigour of his vines, they are on average over 50 years old these two things help to keep yields down.

They harvest manually with the pickers making a first selection on the vine, with a further selection on the sorting table so only the best grapes make it into the cuvée.

The wines are aged from 7 to 22 months in oak barrels, oak barrels and cement vats. The pressing is carried out on a pneumatic press and the fermentation temperatures are controlled.

Frank has wines bottled under his own name and also Domaine du Granit. I was quite taken with his Moulin à Vent Cuvée La Rochelle most stunning examples of a Beaujolais Cru from the iconic 2015 vintage. As complexity goes this is off the scale and absolutely stunning value for money. It’s also worth looking at his old vine Chénas which with some age shows a level of elegance which can be breath-taking and distinguished.

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