The internet is awash with stories about Andrea Calek. Did you know he was a deserter from the Czech army, then went to jail before returning to France?? That he has a fleet of vintage Citroën CX! That he has a mohawk and smokes cigarettes! Wild stuff. Because we all love nothing more than to paint someone as the punk of an industry like wine.
But it’s all noise that detracts from the truth and purity of what’s in the glass, the honest product of four hectares of vines in the commune of Alba-la-Romaine. The wines he makes are almost entirely from estate-grown fruit (with the exception of Viognier and Marsanne), Biodynamic and made without additives.
Calek’s introduction to wine came via a chance encounter with the Gang of Four vignerons (Marcel Lapierre, Guy Breton, Jean-Paul Thévenet and Jean Foillard – the Beaujolais winemakers often labeled the godfathers of natural wine). Specifically, it was the wines of Guy Breton, or Petit Max as he is known, that inspired Calek. Later he helped Domain Houvett convert to biodynamic viticulture and ended up in Vie Ardeche working with Gerald Oustric of Le Mazel.
His partner Stefana Nicolescu shares the workload of the viticulture and wine-making.