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La Philosophie du Soliste

We speak often about what Soliste means. Not because we need the reassurance; to the contrary, we are quite clear in our mission to craft the best possible wines in the new world. For us, Soliste represents a way of life. It is a humble and elusive quest for excellence based upon a shared vision rooted in deep friendship.


The journey that is Soliste reflects the passion and commitment born of old world beliefs and traditions joined in a way that transcends individual ideas. We are particularly inspired by winemakers who have challenged the status quo to elevate their region or cépage to grand cru level. Central to our philosophy is to be bold, experimental, and take risks; not arbitrarily, but with intent, diligence, and a long term vision. The rebellious voice of the Master of St Andelain, the self-taught iconoclast Didier Dagueneau, echos in our winery, “If you want to be the best, you need the methods and techniques to get you there: Your vines must bear the best grapes; your vinification must be the most rigorous. There are no recipes. It's all in the details of viticulture and all the details of winemaking, the assemblage of little things, 100 details and commitments which makes for the minute differences between a good wine and a great one.

Our quest to create wines of great finesse and complexity requires patience, tenacity, and a singular focus on uncompromising standards. It is also a commitment to sacrifice production to trace the footsteps of the Cistercian Monks of Vougeot: to focus on a single clone from a single vineyard and age in single cooperage to craft extraordinary wine that exemplifies their identity and sense of place – Terroir – our MonoClone® pinot noir.

Vineyard selection and care is the most important responsibility we have. Knowing the vineyard – its rhythms, patterns, and energy – are essential to growing the best possible grapes. In the winery we use trusted ancestral Burgundian techniques reflecting our respect for tradition and history, blended with intelligent use of modern production equipment and resources. As Henri Jayer said, “To produce great wines, the vine has to suffer and dig deep for resources, only then can it reappear in the bottle with all the complexity and finesse that becomes a great Pinot Noir.” Minimal intervention is not a catch-phrase; it reflects a core belief that our role is to work harmoniously with nature through the cycles that have endured for the ages. As we cellar, bottle, and release our wines, there are no artificial schedules. We simply wait, listen, and respect what the wine is telling us.

Every year with each vintage release, we can barely contain our excitement to finally share our dream with you. Soliste is the conduit to memorable nights at the dinner table with close friends and family – an essential ingredient of our lives. We craft Soliste so the last taste is greater than the first; with finesse, balance, and elegantly interlaced layers that are in complete harmony with exceptional cuisine. They do not compete, they are One.

This is our long-term mission, the rootstock of our winery, and one that will hopefully outlast us. Since there is limited instant gratification in winemaking, you must have the persistence of a Zen-like singular vision to stay true to the beliefs and values passed through generations. The glass of wine you enjoy symbolizes our philosophy and the identity that is Soliste.

We thank you for joining us on this journey.

Soliste in the Shadows photo Claude and Don at Ch. Bagnol France
Signatures Claude and Don

Claude Koeberle & Donald Plumley

About the name: In Burgundy, a winemaker often reserves a barrel for their family and friends. They call this special barrel Soliste. We hope you enjoy our wine with great food and in the company of those you cherish - just as we do.

Read more about the History of Pinot Noir Clones and how they Survived.

Claude in Vineyard
Pinot Noir cluster in hand
Don in vineyard
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