Farewell Marcel


Nick Brookes


October 2010

No doubt many of you have heard about the tragic death of Morgon's Marcel Lapierre. The obituaries have concentrated on Marcel's position as the ‘godfather' of natural wines. I would just like to add a few words about Marcel, as he was one of the kindest, most generous inspirational people that I have come across.

72 690 0 Marcel Lapierre and Jean-Claude Chanudet

Every year he hosted a major party around Bastille Day. He invited his many friends in Beaujolais, and 350 growers from around the world. The party was legendary, and increased in number every year (he had flagged down motorists in Villié-Morgon the first year to boost numbers!). It would commence with a gentle preamble on the Friday evening, Marcel providing the wines for the main event on Saturday and the growers the wines for the follow up on Sunday! Marcel tried to persuade us to stay for the full weekend's festivities in July. He was on splendid form, typically concerned about everyone he had invited. He phoned us to find out where we were on the Friday evening when we were still tasting with Jean-Claude Chanudet. The main course had been served and he was concerned that we wouldn't taste it at its best. Cath took the photo that Friday evening of Marcel and his great friend Jean-Claude Chanudet, ‘le chat' when we eventually extracted ourselves from le chat's cellars.

Friends for over 40 years, Marcel and Jean-Claude travelled the world taking multiple jobs to pay their way, choosing the country they'd visit by spinning a globe and seeing where a finger landed! They spent 10 years worth of holidays this way! They were also joint owners of Château Cambon in Beaujolais. Jean-Claude recounted that Marcel would often phone him at 6am to join him in the tasting room to taste through various cuves and wine to find the perfect blend. His work ethic and attention to detail were second to none. Marcel always gave 100% and will be very badly missed by his family and friends.

View producer's profile →