Although born and raised in Dijon, the beating heart of Burgundy, Antoine Sunier did not come from a winemaking family. But now he and his brother Julien are two of Beaujolais’ most noteworthy young vignerons...and it’s all thanks to the hair on Christophe Roumier’s head.
Madame Sunier worked in Dijon as a hairstylist to some of the wine world’s most illustrious names; Julien, the eldest Sunier brother, used those connections to garner apprenticeships before founding his own domaine in Beaujolais. A typical younger brother, Antoine chose a career path diametrically opposed to his brother’s, in a telecommunications firm.
But wine beckoned, and Antoine found himself spending all of his free time at Julien’s, helping out at harvest, working in the cellar and getting to know the unique terroir of Beaujolais. In 2012, he took the plunge and started enology school; he capped off his studies with an internship with Jean Claude Lapalu, a superstar of natural Beaujolais.
Antoine's focus is on the cru of Régnié, though he makes a powerful and dark-fruited Morgon from a small plot. His Régnié cuvées are elegant and concentrated; they practically glow with minerality, a product of old-vines planted on the region’s ample pink granite. He works exclusively with native yeasts and adds just a touch of sulfur at bottling.
Antoine’s wines have a fine tannic structure, delicate but unmistakable. They’re defined by a lively, plush fruit and an undeniable spiciness, along with that alluring mineral grip. They bear a distant relation to his brother’s wines, including a dedication to organic farming and lots of exuberant red fruit, but Antoine’s wines are perhaps a touch more serious: more structure, more minerality, more age-worthiness.
Antoine Sunier is a name to watch out for; just as his brother, he’s established himself as a singular winemaker in Beaujolais, crafting wines of precision from fastidiously farmed grapes.