Superstar female winemaker, Nathalie Bonhomme, recently stopped by the WineCollective office for a generous tasting and visit. Having met Bonhomme once before, we felt extremely privileged that she would take time for us away from a busy wine-loving crowd for a one-on-one chat. You may recognize the name, Bonhomme, from the previously featured Petit Bonhomme, but Nathalie has much more than just the the one label under her grasp and care.
Nathalie was born in Montreal, Quebec and spent many years working in all aspects of the wine industry. After working as an importer and distributor for various brands, and travelling to wine regions around the world, Nathalie decided it was her turn to try making wine and she decided to do so in Jumilla, Spain.
Working with Valencia’s Rafael Cambra in 2007, Bonhomme produced the El Bonhomme, a Monstrall, Cab Sauv blend that was also once featured in WineCollective a few years ago. Then, later in 2011, she coordinated with Jumilla’s own, Bodegas Juan Gil, to produce El Petit Bonhomme – the delicious Monstrall, Syrah, Garnacha blend that you may be quite familiar with. If not, be sure to check out the very nifty and interactive Bonhomme website as well as the WineCollective store where you can find Petit Bonhomme for just $14.49!
Bonhomme wine was initially created for Quebec, hence the French name on the Spanish wine. As a Montrealer accustomed to the popularity of Spanish wine in the province, Nathalie knew that the wine would sell back home. Today, Bonhomme is distributed around the world, and very recently has been picked up by popular franchise restaurants The Keg, Earl’s, and Joey’s. Success that Nathalie never expected to reach with her own line of wines.
With a great sense of humour, Nathalie has become a popular wine icon in Spain, appearing on cooking shows and talk show programs. It is no wonder why after years in the industry, Nathalie is wanted by all, not only as a mentor, but also as an importer for some premium Spanish wineries, such as Dominio de Pingus. In addition, Nathalie also works to sell product for Bodegas Juan Gil and so during her visit, we were able to taste many of the wines that Nathalie cares to represent.
Juan Gil 2012 Silver is 100% Monstrall, which spends 12 months in French and American oak. As the wineries flagship wine, production has gone from 30,000 to over one million cases annually. Sweet fresh fruit on the palate with green pepper notes and a spicy finish.
The big brother Juan Gil 2012 Blue is composed of both Cabernet Sauvignon and Monstrall, spending 18 months in oak. Very rich and smooth with notes of cherry and raspberry. Nathalie says this wine is a favourite that people continue to return to as their go-to wine.
Apart from Juan Gil, we tried a range of wines that Nathalie works with, which we hope to introduce to WineCollective members soon. But first, we would love to have your input! As Spain is best known for its production of Garnacha, Tempranillo and Monstrall, all of the wines we tasted are created using these varietals. So tell us, which wines would you like to see in upcoming packages?
Thank you again to Nathalie Bonhomme for visiting and we hope to see you again!