Raphaël Monnier began his career as a history and geography teacher in the heart of Jura’s famed Arbois, driving each day through the region’s famed vineyards to get to his students. Already passionate about wine, in 2009 he began his first foray into production and Ratapoil was born.
Whilst still teaching, Raphaël was able to acquire some ‘historic’ parcels planted with old grape varieties including Trousseau, Ploussard, Gamay, Gueuche, Petit Baclan, Poulsard and Mézy. Today his domaine spans 5 hectares in the Arbois, where he works on 18 different parcels assisted by Marie Bourdon.
Though the region’s vines are typically 70% white varietals, Raphaël has cultivated a vineyard that is 70% red. Passionate about organic farming, his domaine is Ecocert-ified, under the belief that the wine is made in the vineyard rather than the winery or the cellar.
Raphaël tends his land without pesticides, chemicals, or synthetic products, and the hand harvested grapes are ‘clean’ when they go into the winery. Semi-carbonic vinifications are undertaken in vats or barrels, and only indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation. Sulphur is only added when it’s extremely necessary, and even then in very minimal quantities. The wines are not fined or filtered.