Thierry Puzelat & Alessandra Bera, Two Natural Wine Makers.

I had an arranged date with a couple of wine makers at a bar called Philemon in Old Montreal last week. Thierry Puzelat, Loire-based wine maker, took a moment to express how he thinks writing about wine is a little overrated. Art, he claims, is worth discussing, because it is a creation of man, wine just happens so why bother talking about – just drink it. I love how everything is an existential conversation with the French.  I am happy to say we both agreed that wine should be looked upon as art.  Alessandra Bera, from Italy’s Piedmont, on the other hand relished in the lore of terroir, and wants to keep the oral history of traditional and high Barbera d’Asti alive.


They both brought bottles of wine their wines, and they are both equal proponents of natural wine and both seem to have a sense of keeping traditional methods current. My favourite wine from Mr. Puzelat was his 2010 “Le Clos Tue-Boeuf Cheverny Rouillon.” This parcel of land was a Gallic field for animal sacrifices and other such savoury activities. The Clos was once home to twenty or so wine makers, now in his short lifespan he is now the last beast standing – all the other vineyards have closed their doors and essentially suspended important links to the past.


Miss Bera also lamented the battle to keep traditions flourishing in her town of Asti in Piedmont, Italy. She sees volumes and outputs increasing faster than quality, and pointed out that producing bottling machines in Asti has replaced wine-making in her area as the top wine product. She shared with me some of herD.O.C Barbera del Monferrato Le Verrane from Piedmonte – Barbera, produced under the moniker Vittorio Bera & Figli .


The Clos Tue Boeuf got my nod as preferred bottle from Puzelat as had everything you could want, without overdoing any aspect. I loved it’s earthy-ness, tobacco and and red fruit berries. Nice freshness as well. His Domaine du Moulin Cheverny Rouge was a joy as well, with accent heavy on the freshness, but it didn’t have the same big, open appeal to me as the Clos Tue-Boeuf. Plus I just love the whole story of sacrificial cows. Imagine the bar-b-que’ed veal with that wine, wow!


I am moderately familiar with Barbera D’Asti, and I have to give Ms. Bera and her family credit, this was clearly a very fresh, clean and mature drink. A fellow sampler found it too flat for his taste, but the frizante hit dead centre for me. Perhaps my appreciation for the wine was influenced by the fact that I was seated beside Lesley Trites from the really fun blog “Girl on Wine”, and her sidekick/webmaster/significant other Kenneth.


Musical Matches. Both of these wine makers are focused on creating real wines, true to their origins and of quality that makes them relevant in crowded wine market of 2012. A big challenge. Patti Smith remains one today’s most inflential artists, she gained critical notoriety in the mid seventies with a raw, real energy and sound that was true to the roots of rock and roll, but also contributed ink to the blue print for the punk movement that was still years away. Never one to wear make-up and skimpy clothes, her femininity percolated as she occupied a space that only knew the smell of sweaty nuts and stale beer. Listen to her incorporate the rock and roll standard Gloria, into a boiling narrative of protest and anger, and eventually hope.


And if you had to find one celebrity look-alike for Alessande de Bera, a Patti Smith might just fit the bill!


Alessandra de Berra

Photo of Alessandra de Bera taken from the website "Mistrelle" (

Patti Smith Horses - album cover

Cover of Horses by Patti Smith. Image from Album available wherever you buy your records and downloads.

And for Clos Tue-Boeuf Cheverny Rouillon by Thierry Puzelat, since he finds wine writing so absurd, I will hit him with something, simply Absurd. New Boobs by NOFX. Rock on Brother!

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  • Thierry Puzelat

    Good combination are Clos du Tue-Boeuf and Punk in Drublic ! Specialy whith Linoleum and Lori Meyers !

    • Anonymous

      Thierry, I hope to see a 750ml bottle of cabernet franc, gamay and pinau d’aunis called “New Boobs” Vin de France!!!

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