On more than one occasion, Jean-Louis Dutraive has been fondly referred by his peers as "the heart of Beaujolais". The Dutraive family home and the Domaine de la Grand'Cour are one in the same, and there is a constant flow of visiting vignerons from every generation for lunches, dinners, casse-croûte ("breaking of bread"), walks in the vines, and tastings in the cellar. Jean-Louis' door is always open, as are his bottles. He makes himself regularly available to young people in the region who are interested in farming naturally, and he is among the first to lend a hand, a tractor, or words of advice.
Following consecutive years of 80-90% losses due to Mother Nature's brutalities (frost, hail), Jean-Louis went in search of fruit to make ends meet. He established the Famille Dutraive negociant project for his children to manage, and he developed a line of Jean-Louis Dutriave wines separate from the miniscule quantities of Domaine de la Grand'Cour estate wines produced in these difficult vintages. Despite his lack of intimate knowledge of the terroirs for the outsourced fruit, Jean-Louis manages to craft wines that are "Dutraive-esque" in style. His inextinguishable spirit is among his most defining qualities and it comes through in these joyful wines.