Matthieu Finot was born into a winegrowing family in Crozes-Hermitage, France. In 1995 after graduating with his degree in enology from the university in Beaune he proceeded to work in multiple wine regions in France including, Rhone Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence, and Jura. He did stints in Italy and South Africa before arriving in Virginia in 2003.
He then landed a position at Afton Mountain Winery and would become the full-time winemaker at King Family Vineyards in 2007 succeeding Michael Shaps when Michael started Virginia Wineworks.
Matthieu is one of the founding members of the Winemakers' Research Exchange in Virginia. In addition to his responsibility as winemaker at King Family Vineyards he also manages Turk Mountain Vineyards and has expanded his own family Brand, Domaine Finot to include along with his wines from France interesting experimental wines from Virginia.
Matthieu has a simple and direct philosophy about winemaking. In his own words, "we are not inventing anything that hasn't already been done in winemaking." He is constantly looking to improve his understanding of the vineyards he works with shaping the wine to reflect their terroir. We get into all of that and more in the interview.
a). Matthieu chronicles how he travel to and made wine in so many diverse winegrowing regions like Italy, South Africa, Provence, Jura, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and the Rhone where he was born.
b). We learn about his early days in Virginia when he first started at Afton Mountain Vineyards and then later at King Family Vineyards.
c). Matthieu made it clear that when he arrived at King Family Vineyards Michael Shaps the winemaker before him and Chris Hill the viticulturist had done everything correctly so it was an easy transition into the position of winemaker.
d). Matthieu explains how the Winemakers Research Exchange got started and it's importance then and now to the future of wine making in Virginia. It has helped support Virginia's diversity in winegrowing, varietals that are grown, and the wines that are being made for the future.
e). I learned about his own project Domain Finot which produces wines in France and here in Virginia and how that has shaped his wine making philosophy.
f). Matthieu makes it clear he doesn't believe he or anyone else if inventing anything, winemaking has been going on for generations. The important point is to take what the vineyard/terroir gives you and help it reach its potential in the wine.
Much, much more. Take a listen.