Sent to the Napa Valley by the French government in 1980 to “spy” for 6 months, this son of Bordeaux sent a telegram home: “Looks good, I stay.” Jean-Noel Fourmeaux was seduced by the exuberance and generosity of the Napa Valley fruit. He loves his home country of France, however there were too many traditions and strict rules. He was inspired by the freedom given to California winemakers that allowed for great creativity and expression. Additionally, in 1980 a culinary revolution led by the young American chefs where ingredients were respected and enhanced convinced him the wines style were going to change over time.
Jean-Noel is a 35 years veteran of the wine industry in Napa Valley, yet his winery, VGS Chateau Potelle, is known only by those who search for wines that have dimension, subtlety and definitive character. Their assertiveness is all in the layers of nuances, not in the over-ripeness of fruit. To make “main stream” wines has never been his calling.
He is a firm believer that everyone has a taste and that once they know it, their taste will never let them down. Jean-Noel philosophizes that the problem with wine is that peer pressure, social status or preconceived ideas forbid some people to trust their individual and very personal taste. VGS, in turn, is an attitude where each taste is respected.
Jean-Noel’s unconventional but very serene and comfortable approach to life and wine is guided by his passion for making wines true to his standards and of his loyal customers.
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