Born in Cannes, William Waterkeyn grew up in Isère near the French Alps. There, the closest vineyards were in the Rhône Valley. Realizing his great passion for winemaking, Waterkeyn moved to Burgundy to study viticulture and winemaking – receiving his viticulture degrees from the Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin in Dijon in 2013. Winemaking studies followed his degree work in the study of biology at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in Villeurbanne. His first viticulture position was with Domaine du Chêne in Chavannay, France where he vinified Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne.
Prior to joining Jessiaume, Waterkeyn was the assistant winemaker at Maison Alex Gambal in Beaune, after studying Oregon Pinot Noir at A to Z Wineworks/Rexhill in Newburg, Oregon. “My desire has always been to work in Burgundy. But prior to that, I wanted to experiment different things, see different places and different styles of winemaking. In order to learn and gain experiences, I have been, during and after my studies, to the northern Rhône Valley, Oregon, and of course throughout Burgundy. These travels and observations were essential to the evolution of my winemaking philosophy.” Working closely with Megan McClune and Keith Murray at Domaine Jessiaume, Waterkeyn facilitated profound changes in both vineyard and cellar to organic practices.