Mikael Gaget's story is a classic of generational change, the kind that we love. The son of a grape farmer in Beaujolais, he went to school for enology so he could take the family estate to the next level. After selling all their grapes since Mikael's great grandparents purchased a few hectares in the early 1900s, Mikael's father Maurice created the family's first winemaking domaine in 1980.
The following year construction of the winery began mid-slope on the famed hillside of Cote du Py, just above the village of Villi_-Morgon. In 1999 Mikael joined his father and the modern day Domaine Gaget was born. Mikael soon began acquiring vines around the domaine - 5.3ha in total on Cote du Py. Soon after he acquired 1.8ha of 75+ year old vines at the very top of the pink granitic slopes of La Madone in Fleurie, and 1ha of 65+ year old vines in the decomposed blue granitic soils of the 'Grand Cras' vineyard, just at the base of Cote du Py. The domaine now has 11ha in total.
Mikael's "basic" Beaujolais Village cuvee, 'Les Galets', is anything but basic. A single 2.5ha plot right below Villli_-Morgon of 45+ year old vines. The name of the cuvee, 'Les Galets' is derived from the stones littering the vineyard, having been rounded by the nearby Saone River.
One of the most exciting cuvees in the Gaget lineup is Vinum Memoria, an hommage to his family and natural winemaking. This single 1ha plot south of the domaine, near the village of Sainte-Etienne-la-Varenne, is home to his grandparent's original vineyard surrounding their house. Here 90 year old vines reside in pink granitic sand. Much like the other holdings, this plot is farmed organically without the use of herbicides and pesticides. Bottled with no SO2, this is the cuvee that changed Mikael's philosophy regarding the rest of the range. "I loved the freshness that this wine had. I started reducing the SO2 levels in my other wines as a direct result. The wines felt exponentially more alive on the palate."