Tomoko Kuriyama is a partner in Chanterêves, a micro-négociant based in Burgundy, which she runs with her husband Guillaume Bott.
Tomoko spent over a decade working in wineries in Germany, then moved to Burgundy in France and started Chanterêves. She explains in this interview the differences between Germany and Burgundy in terms of the winemaking and vineyard work. She also discusses the outlook of the growers in each place, and how those differ. Tomoko worked with growers in Germany like Paul Fürst and Peter Jakob Kühn, and visited German growers like Helmut Dönnhoff and Gernot Kollmann. Then in 2005, she did a harvest at Domaine Simon Bize in Burgundy, which subsequently led her to move to Burgundy and start a micro-négociant there. When addressing topics like botrytis, the nature of a fermentation, brettanomyces, sulphur dose, lees contact, reduction, and tannin management, Tomoko compares and contrasts the approaches in Germany with those in Burgundy. By doing so, she explains both at a deep level. Tomoko also describes how winemaking in Germany and in Burgundy have evolved in the years that she has been making wine. For example, she describes the embrace of infusion instead of extraction in the red winemaking of Burgundy, and why it may be so common today. Those looking to better understand the character of German wine and Burgundy will find a lot of revelatory information in this interview.