Alice Bouvot

…and the Wines of Domaine de l’Octavin

Every day we get asked what our favorite wine is. This is a hard question to answer. We love all wines. All styles and colors. Still wines and bubbles. But there are some winemakers and regions we truly adore. One of those special winemakers is Alice Bouvot and her winery, Domaine de l’Ocatavin in Jura, France.

Alice grew up in Besançon, a town by the Swiss border about an hour from the Arbois region of Jura. As a youngster, Alice trained as a classical musician but soon moved to study viticulture in Bordeaux and winemaking in Burgundy. After completing her studies, Alice spent around three years making wine overseas and returned to France to settle in the Jura. She wanted to be close to her family and was drawn to the exciting grape varieties and terroirs of the Jura region. Here she was inspired by the work of Jura pioneers such as Emmanuel Houillon and Pierre Overnoy. Alice was one of the first of a new wave of producers offering a pure expression of the Jura’s hills. and nowadays acts as a mentor to the next generation of vignerons in the region.

Domaine de l’Octavin

Alice started Domaine de l’Octavin in 2005 after two years managing an eighteen-hectare domaine in the Côtes du Jura. The winery was born out of passion and the hope of being able to make the kind of wines she loved without having to compromise. She started with just 2 hectares of vineyards and over the years has bought small plots and slowly increased her production. Today, Alice farms around five hectares of vines in some of the Jura’s very best lieu-dits such as En Curon, La Mailloche, Les Nouvelles and Les Corvées. Vineyard work is carried out with a real sensitivity to the needs of the plant and great respect for biodiversity. In addition to this, Alice harvests grapes from the vineyards of trusted friends.

The Viticulture

Alice practices both organic and biodynamic agriculture. L’Octavin is now Demeter biodynamic certified and she works to convey this message to the fullest. Wild grasses, weeds, insects, and animals all have a place in their vines creating a true ecosystem that gives a deeper meaning to each glass of her wine. She tries to prune respectfully, removing excess buds and shoots, always trying to reflect the balance of the vine. Alice looks for soil that is alive and before making an intervention she first considers her ultimate goal, which is to provide a living soil. This leads to well-balanced fruit and healthy indigenous yeasts, which are the key to successful natural fermentation.

In the Cellar

Intervention in the cellar is minimal, the goal is to merely accompany the grapes and to allow them to express themselves. The grapes are destemmed by hand and fermented without the use of SO2, cultured yeasts, or other additives. Most of the wines are fermented and aged in fiberglass or steel tanks, but only at the ambient temperature of the cave. Alice started making wines without sulfites around 2008 and from 2010 she has never added any to her wines. She finds more energy, emotion, and sensuality in these living wines. She believes adding sulfites takes away the life of the wine.

Alice’s Wine Philosophy

Since 2010 there has been a common thread throughout the wines that she has maintained. Her hope is that in the future the wines will continue to stay true to themselves and faithful to who she is. In a good year, she makes a dazzling number of cuvées. There is no recipe and winemaking is dynamic, with decisions being made only once the fruit has been brought to the cellar, where fermentation, vessels, and élevage varies from parcel to parcel and vintage to vintage, though nothing is ever added at any stage. It’s a refreshingly free approach that yields individual wines of real character, the common thread being a sort of boundless energy, where each is as nourishing, delicious, and exciting as the last.

The Wines of Domaine de l’Octavin

Domaine de L’Octavin Zerlina

Vintage: 2018
Region: Arbois, France
Viticulture: Organic and Biodynamic
Grape varieties: Pinot Noir and Trousseau

Domaine de L’Octavin Zerlina is a blend of Pinot Noir and Trousseau from Jura. Alice Bouvot makes some of my favorite wines!

Song: Genius of Love by Tom Tom Club


Out of stock

Domaine de L’Octavin Elle Amie

Vintage: 2018
Region: Arbois, France
Viticulture: Organic
Grape varieties: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

Domaine de L’Octavin Elle Amie is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 50% destemmed and 50% whole cluster. Bright red fruit and acidity.

Song: Badlands by Bruce Springsteen


2 in stock

Domaine de L’Octavin Commendatore

Vintage: 2018
Region: Arbois, France
Viticulture: Organic
Grape varieties: Trousseau

Domaine de L’Octavin Commendatore is an intense and structured Trousseau from the heart of Jura. Musky and dark. No additives or filtration.

Song: Discotheque 36 by Black Francis


1 in stock

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