With all of the uncertainty that any agri-business brings, it takes a tremendous level of courage and dedication to walk away from a successful career to become a winemaker. And this is exactly what Ludwig Bindernagel did.
Originally from Bavaria, Ludwig was working successfully as an architect in Paris, before he heard the siren song of the vineyards. He studied viticulture remotely, then decided to jump in the deep end, leaving the glamour of Paris behind for the more rustic climes of Jura.
He and his partner, Nathalie Eigenschenk, originally planned to move to Burgundy, but the twin realities of expense and space forced them to look elsewhere. However, as soon as they began to explore the Jura region, they were won over. In 2000, they purchased an old vineyard, Les Chais de Vieux Bourg, situatued in the commune of Arlay. After a few years cleaning up the vines and switching to organic viticulture, they released their first vintage in 2003. It was only fitting that they named the domaine after Ludwig's nickname; LuLu Vigneron was born.
Since those early days, Ludwig has expanded his holdings to include sites in Poligny, Etoile and the legendary Château-Chalon.
Ludwig and Nathalie's philosophy is that wine is made in the vineyard. This is evident through their organic viticulture (they are currently converting to full biodynamics), the lack of machinery in the vineyard, and Ludwig's fastidious bunch selections at harvest time. Everything is carried out by hand, so as not to damage the soils through compaction.
In the winery, the same principles are applied. Nothing is rushed, and every care is taken to allow the ferments to finish in their own time and using only natural yeasts. In fact, due to the naturally cooler temperatures that Ludwig ferments at, some cuvees can take up to two years to fully ferment, creating astonishing layers of complexity and depth to his wines.
His annual production is tiny, so to have these wines in store is really exciting! Another Jura producer to have on your list, we're expecting big things from LuLu! Click here.