Henri Maire ~ The Visionary (1917-2003)
A few weeks before he died, Henri Maire was asked what might have happened to the jura wine region if he had not been there to pull it up by its bootstraps. He answered modestly that if it had not been him, there would have been someone else. Henri's dad died during World War 1, Henri inherited his grandfather's vines, acquiring vineyards here and there, in 1942 he obtained permission from Louis Pasteur's grandson to replant Pasteur's vineyards, Clos de Roisières and replanted it with all 5 grapes permitted under the AOC rules.
Once war was over, still in his twenties, Henri's energy was unstoppable, he believe Jura could produce great wines. The firm was created in 1945, his first Estate was created in 1947 Domaine de Monfort, but vineyards from about 300 owners to make up 45 ha of Vineyards. One estate at the time, Henri Maire revolutionized the way wine was sold not only in France but also in Europe, selling wine direclty to consumer with a network of direct sales representatives selling door-to-door and at fair and exhibitions.
He had a marketing vision that no one had. "Vin Fou" the idea came to him in 1950, at the time a good publicist and artist made his dream came through, putting his wines on gastronomic table including La Tour d'Argent. He convenced the restaurant to embed a cask and some bottles of Vin Jaune into the walls of the restaurant to be enjoyed by future generations.