“Róisín Curley is a pharmacist, working in the family business in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo. At the same time, she makes her own wines in Burgundy, one of the most prestigious French wine regions of all. “It began with a simple love of wine,” says Curley, “and a need to know more, which in turn led to the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) wine courses.” This is the standard path taken by many Irish wine lovers, but Curley took it a lot further. She studied for a masters (and was awarded a scholarship) in viticulture and oenology in Montpellier and Geisenheim Universities in France and Germany.
This was followed by a year at Château Latour in Bordeaux, comparing standard and organic viticulture for her thesis, and then a vintage in Château Grillet in the northern Rhône.
She chose Burgundy as her winemaking home through a series of coincidences. “It was never a dream,” she says, “because I never even thought I could dream about making wine in Burgundy. I am a huge fan, my favourite red grape is Pinot Noir and I love Chardonnay. But it was never my intention from the start to do what I am doing.” She had friends and contacts in Burgundy, and was introduced to the owner of a winemaking facility, who rents out space to small winemakers.
“It snowballed from there. All the time I was pinching myself; I never even tried to do this because I didn’t think it would be possible.”
Irish Times Dec 2017