Mikulski a rising name in Burgundy wine tradition

Tue Jul 3, 2012 10:48am EDT
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By Marcel Michelson

PARIS (Reuters) - The name is Mikulski, François Mikulski.

One of the rising stars of the otherwise closely knit community of Burgundy winemakers, François has turned a handicap into an advantage.

No complex, ancient or elaborate names on an intricate ancient label on the bottles, just a seemingly handwritten name, his name, on a simple single color background pasted on a bottle of, well, rather pleasant wine.

Based in Meursault, Mikulski makes first growth wines as well as a more general Bourgogne Aligoté white wine that surprises because of its pure mineral taste with a hint of the buttery flavor that characterizes Meursault or Chablis.

That is no accident. Mikulski uses Aligoté vines that were planted in 1929 and 1948, well before he was born. They have a relative low yield in grapes that he lets mature well and then keeps in big cool vats for freshness.

His father emigrated in 1939 from Poland to England. Later, via Luxembourg, he settled in Dijon where François was born in 1963.

There were vintners in his mother's family. François worked with his uncle from 1984 to 1991 and when this uncle's own sons sought a different future, François and his wife Marie Pierre Mikulski-Germain started to rent the maternal family vines as well as an adjacent plot and created Domaine François Mikulski in 1992.

The first eight years were very difficult. They needed a bank loan to start and when they had hoped to sell their first wines in 1992 to the wholesale buyers, the prices were so low during a crisis that they decided to bottle the wines themselves, which required even more money.   Continued...