Getting to know Pierre Overnoy is no mean feat. To use a footballing simile, it would be like meeting Leo Messi, although there are a number of differences that I will not go into here. I simply wanted to draw attention to the importance of the person I am referring to and whom I am sure all wine lovers know. I would just like to recall a sentence from his book “La parole de Pierre”, which says a lot about this brilliant winegrower: “It is not our fathers who have given us the earth, but our children who have lent it to us”.
It was Easter 2017. A trip to the Jura with family and friends. It all started with a phone call from my dear friend Vincent in a car park, from a village near Pupillin, the village of Overnoy. We are still laughing, my friend Paco and I, at Vincent’s enthusiasm during the conversation that was used to arrange the visit. It was as if he was asking God himself for an audience. The truth is that he managed to get the doors of Pierre Overnoy’s winery opened to us the following day.
So there we went. We were welcomed by Emmanuel Houillon, who today, given Pierre’s age, is the one who makes the wines. He spoke to us, not about natural wine, but only about wine, because for them there is only the word “wine”. The logical consequence of working a vineyard without chemical additives and the process of fermenting the grapes until they become alcohol. Nothing else. The alchemy of nature, as simple as that. We tasted countless wines, attentive to his explanations, and enjoyed a dream afternoon. Later, Pierre appeared, not to talk to us about wine, but about bread, because he enjoys working with it and cooking it. There is no doubt that we were amazed by the situation, but even more so when he told us that the following day we could come and pick up a loaf of bread that he would leave ready for us.
We left knowing that we had experienced a magical moment, one of those that can only happen in this wonderful world, where wine lovers understand each other with passion, more than with language. I say we left, although the truth is that we almost left our friend Vicente who, while our car began to roll away, was still at the door of the winery and was full of praise for Emmanuel and Pierre for their exquisite kindness.
The next day, we went to pick up the bread. Neither Pierre nor Emmanuel was there, but Emmanuel’s son was, and he gave us the loaf. That evening we dined with Overnoy’s bread and, of course, with a bottle of their wines, remembering moments we will never forget.