Baptiste Cousin "Pied"

Baptiste Cousin "Pied"
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Grapes: Chenin Blanc

Region: VDF

Vintage: 2022

Viticulture: Biodynamic

Soils: Schist

Yeasts: Native

Vinification: Direct Press

Aging: 2 years in barrique

Fining or Filtering: None

Notes from the Importer:

Fun facts:

“Seems he took a lot from his father, I store my hoses and glasses in the exact same way,” laughs Baptiste’s father, Olivier Cousin, when giving us a tour of his son’s new cellar, “although he’s way tidier than I am,” Olivier admits. It’s a just observation: the hoses hang in orderly formations from the ceiling, a couple of old vertical presses are waiting for their moment next to barrels old and new, and last year’s wines are slowly finishing their fermentation journey in fiberglass tanks. Everything looks so clean and neat that standing in Baptiste Cousin’s spacious, luminous new winery one cold morning in March, it’s hard to believe that this serene space was a complete ruin only a couple of years ago, with trees growing in the middle of torn-down walls. 

The winery is one of many buildings that used to form Château de Boisairault, a large old agricultural estate dating back to 1600, famous for its tobacco production. Due to twists and turns in its recent history, the Chateau became completely derelict – a sad phase for the once-grand structure, but also a unique opportunity for Baptiste, who bought it for a friendly price and breathed new life into it. Luckily for him, one of the things he inherited from his father (besides his knack for winemaking and rebellious spirit) is also dexterity and love for construction work. 

The once run-down estate has now not only become a winery of Baptiste’s own (previously, Cousin Jr. was making his wine in his father’s old cellar in Martigné-Briand), but continues to find other uses as well, including a nascent multifunctional space that will serve their community as a school for kids during the day, eating space at lunchtime, and a venue for parties, weddings or concerts on evenings and weekends. “This is a place where people have lived for more than 500 years – the buildings, a well, a woodfire oven for bread – all was here before. We don’t have to invent anything new, we just reconstruct,” Baptiste praises this unique spot that allows him to exist virtually off-the-grid, a feature that is very important for his radical nature.

The revitalization is even more impressive knowing that Baptiste and his family do all the work themselves, aided only by friends, Wwoofers and other volunteers. “I like this almost as much as working in the vineyards. We just have to take advantage of the viticultural “low season” as much as possible, before everything gets busy again in mid-March,” he shrugs.

  • Baptiste started in 2012 with old vines of Chenin that his father, the cult natural winemaker Olivier Cousin, passed on to him, and Cousin Jr. progressively took over more plots and varieties
  • Originally, he made the wines in his father’s / great-grandfather’s cellar in Martigné-Briand, but since 2020 he moved into a refurbished winery space of his own, built into an abandoned historical estate nearby
  • The property is located in Boisairault, which in French sounds exactly the same as Bois Zéro – Drink Zero [manipulated wines, zero sulfur], a fitting logo and creed for Baptiste’s no-additions philosophy
  • The winery’s name “Le Batossay” is a nickname invented by Baptiste’s friends, referring to manga comics

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