Having been born in the early seventies, and raised in a very normal middle class family in Quebec, becoming a world class winemaker in Burgundy was an unlikely eventuality. After a chance encounter with famed winery owner, Marc Chapoutier, Patrick’s life took a very different direction. He went on to work in wineries in Israel, Australia, and South Africa, then returned to Montreal to open a wine bar. After only a few years, Patrick found himself pining for life in the winery.
In 2000, Patrick packed up and left for France. After a stint with Olivier Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet, followed by some viticulture courses in Beaune, he became the winemaker for Leflaive. After four years he moved on to La Maison Verget in the Maconnais to work with famed Pouilly-Fuisse producer Jean-Marie Guffens. A year later Jean-Marc Brocard tapped Patrick to be his cellar master.
In 2008, with all of his skills honed, Patrick founded his own winery. Utilising relationships established over the last eight years, he set up as a négociant, working with the best lots, in the best vineyards throughout Chablis.
In 2010, Patrick was approached by Champenois, François Moutard, who had recently acquired a winery in Chablis near Tonnerre, and land holdings in Burgundy, Chablis and Petit Chablis. Under the label Val de Mer, Patrick produces Chblis, Chablis Grand Cru, Premier Crus, Petit Chablis, Bourgogne, and sparkling wines. The production is higher than the Patrick Piuze label, and the US is the only market for these wines.
Make no mistake, although Patrick’s methodology is the same, Val de Mer is a separate and unique project. He uses a different winery, some 20 minutes from Chablis. This site is in a cooler valley, and as such, the wines ferment differently with different yeasts, and age divergently than those made under the Piuze line.
While Piuze wines are often boarding on opulent, Val de Mer tends to be the more archetypal Chablis style; zesty, mineral-driven, refreshing.
Today, Patrick Piuze is dedicated to expressing the unique personalities of various places in Chablis, producing six Grand Crus, eleven Premier crus, and a Chablis appellated wine from four specific vineyards.