The McKinlay family established Domaine de Mourchon in 1998 with the purchase of 17 hectares of existing vines. Until that point the fruit from these vines had been vinified at the local co-operative and so it was necessary to both build a winery and create a brand at the same time. They were convinced by the outstanding ‘terroir’ and the quality of the vines (average age 55 years) and commissioned the building of a state-of-the art gravity-flow winery, which was completed just in time for the 1999 harvest. Joined in 2000 by winemaker Sebastien Magnouac, Mourchon soon began to make a name for itself and in 2003 a further 7 hectares of vines were purchased in order to supply an ever-increasing demand from both the international and domestic market.
While 13 varietals are permitted in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Emmanuel uses only one for Rayas’ red wines: Grenache. For the whites, he uses Grenache Blanc and Clairette. Grapes come from the three vineyards, are vinified and aged separately in old barrels, then are blended to achieve Emmanuel’s vision for the vintage, always adhering to Château Rayas’ signature style. With a Pinot Noir–like flavor profile — kirsch, cherry, peat moss — coupled with a peppery Mediterranean flair that is distinctively “Southern France,” there is simply nothing like a bottle of Château Rayas.
Domaine Santa Duc
Domaine Santa Duc was first established in 1874 in the Southern Rhone cru of Gigondas. Yves stopped selling the crop off to négociants in 1985 in favor of bottling his own wine instead. The winery was recently certified organic in 2012. Yves practices de-budding early in the growing season to lend rigor to the fruit, leaf-pulling to increase circulation, and early harvests to preserve freshness. Yves farms 12.5 hectares of lieux-dits throughout Gigondas. Generous, fruity and concentrated, the vines reflect the soil and the way in which they are produced.
Domaine de l'Ameillaud
If one was to describe quite simply the style of wines produced at the Ameillaud, there are probably three key words : maturity, generosity and balance. Southern Rhône grape-varieties have an important aromatic potential, and at l’Ameillaud we try to enhance this. When fermenting, we seek to protect this fruit expression whilst working to obtain a certain level of tannic support, giving sufficient structure to ensure several years of maturing, but nothing excessive.
Balandran is owned by Jean-François Fayel. The estate is located southeast of the city of Nîmes. This area was once the delta for the Rhône River and is considered part of the Rhône Valley. The region has a warm climate that produces wines noted for their ripe fruit and rich texture. Balandran’s excellent location and cailloux-based soils create a spectacular environment for Rhône wines.
Domaine La Monardière
The Domaine de la Monardière was founded in 1987 by Martine and Christian Vache. Both in love with vineyards and wine, Martine and Christian took over the family property and began a long programme of restructuring the vineyards, building the cellar and preparing for the distribution and sale of their wine. At present, the estate has 50 acres of vineyards; its wines are sold directly by the Domaine, both in France and for exportation.
Domaine du Cayron
There is a sense of focus and implicity at Domaine du Cayron. "I make one wine," says Michel Faraud. There are no cuvees reserves, no declassified Cotes du Rhone, only Gigondas. Happily, Faraud's years of conservatism have paid off. His wine is one of the most loved Gigondas on the market. When frosts in 1956 destroyed many of Faraud's olive trees, the family decided to start from scratch and plant vines from which the Domaine takes its name. Today their vineyard plots are scattered throughout the Gigondas appellation, the best vines being in the Col du Cayron, 1500 feet above sea level, nestled into the spiky Dentelles mountains, a site which produces low yields and rich fruit.
Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières
Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières is a very old family estate, whose name comes from a place of pilgrimage visited by the Provencal people in the Middle Ages to protect them from the plague. The old vines go deep in the chalky-clayey subsoil and profit by the little Trignon valley microclimate. The grapes are harvested by hand and crafted according traditional winemaking methods.
Domaine Jean Royer
The Royer family has a century old past as winegrowers in Chateauneuf du Pape. The father of Jean-Marie Royer died when Jean-Marie was a child and for some years all the their land was let out to other vignerons. As a young man Jean Royer helped his Grandmother in her small vineyards and when she died he inherited a small part of her fields. In 1985, having finished his viticulture schooling, Jean-Marie returned to the family vineyards and over the years he has bought more land from the family and today he owns 6 ha. with 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah/Mourvedre.
Domaine Saint Laurent
Halfway between the Papal city of Avignon and the Roman city of Orange, Domaine Saint Laurent spreads its vineyards on the hills with the scents of Provence. For five generations, the winemaking family has produced wines with respect for nature and traditions. The founder was François Sinard. In the early twentieth century, he decided to invest more in the area of Vine and Wine. The choice to focus exclusively on this activity brought him a reputation outside the town. Since 1976, Robert Henri Sinard took over the torch. The family continues to work through his son, Laurent.
Domaine des Bernardins
A family estate for five generations, we still have one bottle of 1847 Muscat that demonstrates just how old it is. We started making wine at the beginning of the 19th Century at Domaine des Bernardins. The property was previously owned by Bernardin monks before being transformed into a wine estate. Mr Louis Castaud was the first one to show real concern about how the village’s traditional production had almost disappeared and achieved appellation status for Muscat de Beaumes de Venise in 1945 after 10 years of hard work. His family were able to make Domaine des Bernardins thrive by combining know-how and traditional values. Today his daughter Renée Castaud is still active in day-to-day life at the estate. His granddaughter Elisabeth, her husband Andrew Hall and their son Romain now make this wine that’s part of the family history.
Château Saint-Pierre de Mejans
The Priory of Saint-Pierre de Mejans was first mentioned in 1118 when it figured in a list of properties owned by the Abbey of Saint Andé de Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and confirmed by the Pope Gélase II. The Priory has been affiliated with wine-making since medieval times. In January 1343 the Archbishop of Aix stayed there for two nights and was horrified to discover that part of the church was used as a wine storage space. He immediately ordered the destruction of the wine storage partitions and ensured that the wine barrels were to be kept in a more appropriated place. After the revolution the Priory was seized by the State, sold and transformed into a silkworm breeding farm and later continued to operate as a vineyard.
Château de la Selve
The Chateau de la Selve was a castle on the frontier of the Empire and then of the Kingdom of France. It then became the hunting lodge of the famous Dukes de Joyeuse, before being transformed into a farm after a few centuries. Built during the 13th century, it has the typical architecture of many of the castles of the Bas-Vivarais. Located on the banks of the Chassezac, the main Ardèche's tributary, it benefits from a unique and protected environment. In 1990, this magnificent house became the property of Jean-Régis and Magdeleine Chazallon. The Château thus became a family abode. Wine is grown with respect for the environment and the goal of letting the soil express itself. In this perspective, they are always looking for better areas for vines to grow and have adopted biodynamic principals.
Aurélien Chatagnier created his own domaine in 2002 while he was just in his early 20s. He doesn’t come from a winemaking family, but as a teenager he worked in the vines for Domaine Jamet, where he became inspired to learn more about winemaking. He worked for several years with François Villard, who eventually pushed him to head out on his own. Starting with just over 1 hectare of rented vines, Aurélien has steadily built up a domaine of almost 10 hectares by purchasing, bartering, and replanting vineyards around the town of St-Pierre-de-Boeuf at the Northern extreme of the Saint Joseph appellation. The vineyards are predominantly granite and extremely steep. The house style runs towards a lean, pure style of winemaking, and shows the reason why some of the best producers in the area decided to pass the torch over to Aurélien as one of the best young winemakers in the region. Aurélien farms organically and employs a light touch in the cellar where he favors native yeasts, mostly used oak, limited extraction, and bottles without fining or filtration.
Domaine des Hautes Châssis
Domaine des Hauts Châssis is a 12 hectare estate in the middle of the locality called “Les Hauts Châssis” in the south of the Crozes Hermitage appellation area. It has been in existence for 3 generations. The current owner Franck Faugier has been the winemaker since taking over the family's vineyards in 1998 and made the decision to leave the local co-operative and go out on his own. The equipment is modern (stainless steel vats) but the estate is run with an eye to tradition. Franck prefers mechanical soil cultivation methods, reasoned pest control, green harvesting and leaf-stripping by hand. Maturing is adapted to the structure of the grape.
Domaine de Rimauresq
Rimauresq takes its name from the Real Mauresque, the river that flows through the vineyards. The domaine sits at the foot of the Massif des Maures mountain range, 20 minutes from Toulon. With a unique microclimate, the estate benefits from both the cooling mistral winds and the shade of the mountains above. This shade gives a longer ripening period in the crucial weeks prior to harvest. Nine noble grape varieties are found at Rimauresq, including Cinsault, Mourvedre, and Tibouren for the rosés. Senior winemaker Pierre Duffort has many years of winemaking experience in the Côtes de Provence appellation. Before leading Rimauresq, he directed his family domaine, La Moutete, at nearby Cuers. Since his arrival at Rimauresq, the domaine has won industry-wide recognition for excellence. It was awarded three stars in three consecutive years by Guide Hachette.
Château Vignelaure "the vineyard of the sacred spring" is the jewel in the crown of the appellation Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence. Set high in the hills, our vineyards cover more than 60 hectares and it has established a reputation as one of the finest producers in the South of France. The wines is a perfect example of Provencal winemaking at the highest level and are made of grapes which includes some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted in the 1960's from cuttings from Château La Lagune. Vignelaure has a long tradition of producing highly rewarded wines, which are classical, elegant and pure, while at the same time pushing boundaries and concepts of what is possible to achieve.
Domaine de la Ferme Blanche
François Paret and his daughter Jeromine own one of the largest of the 13 Cassis estates, and one which has managed to retain its position despite encroaching urban development. Its white wines, which form up to 70% of the production, show typical Cassis character with honey, white peaches and citrus character, and developing character with age.
In the same foothills of Mont Sainte Victoire in which Paul Cézanne lived and found inspiration, the Sumeire family has thrived since the thirteenth century. This magical place is shielded from northern winds, with abundant sunshine and chalky soil regulating temperatures and helping to create a unique microclimate. The Sumeires added Château Maupague to their collection of properties in 1991, with a goal of creating a classic rosé on par with the finest of the region, light in color, fresh, aromatic and dry.
Domaine Begude is located in Limoux, in the eastern foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains in Southern France, 30 minutes south of the medieval city of Carcassone. The topography and strong Atlantic influences make it one of the coolest areas in the region, with ideal conditions for slow, even ripening of the Chardonnay grapes used in their wines. The cooling Atlantic winds and higher elevations (over 1,000 feet) allow the vineyards to be planted in optimal locations – southerly facing hillsides. The winery is devoted to environmentally sustainable practices and their grapes are organically grown. Only organic sheep manure is used for fertilizer, the vines are dry farmed and weeding is done manually, with no pesticides used.
Domaine Tour de Pech
Tour de Pech has spent five generations in the hands of the Saint-Exupéry family, and the vineyards and winery are still proudly family owned. The Pech-Celéyran vineyards are dry farmed with very low average yields of 4 tons/Ha. The vines are soothed by winds from the northwest and the Mediterranean, and are surrounding by fragrant scrubland and pine forests, which the family believes influence the aromatic nature of their wines.
When Bruno Lafon bought this old estate in the village of Magalas with his sister-in-law, Sylvie Legros, the property was a collection of run down vineyards planted with a wide variety of grapes. Lafon has transformed the vineyards, bringing his experience as an established grower in Burgundy, and now cultivates 13 varieties of vines that are best matched to the local conditions (and traditions).
Château des Eyrins
Julie and Xavier Gonet-Médeville are, in many ways, the first couple of French wines. Both hail from storied winemaking families: Julie’s family is famous for its incomparable Chateau Gilette, and Xavier comes from a long line of Champagne growers in Le Mesnil. Leading a new generation of winemakers, they bring their family knowledge, methods and passion to the many wines they now make together.Julie and Xavier bought the seven-acre Château des Eyrins estate from Eric Grangerou in 2008. The Grangerou family has been cellar masters for Château Margaux for three generations. On a hillside plateau in the heart of Margaux, on the left bank of the Gironde River, Château des Eyrins produces a classic Margaux: dense and deep, with incredible finesse and freshness, the wine undeniably expresses the identity of this glorious appellation.
Julie and Xavier Gonet-Médeville are, in many ways, the first couple of French wines. Both hail from storied winemaking families: Julie’s family is famous for its incomparable Chateau Gilette, and Xavier comes from a long line of Champagne growers in Le Mesnil. Leading a new generation of winemakers, they bring their family knowledge, methods and passion to the many wines they now make together.Julie’s father, Christian Médeville, integrated Château Respide-Médeville, in the heart of the Graves region of Bordeaux, into the family estate in 1959. Today, his daughter and her husband coax great Graves Blanc and Rouge from the sandy, gravelly clay soil, allowing the purity of the fruit to shine through.
Château Franc Patarabet
Château Franc-Patarabet is located in Saint-Emilion surrounded by prestigious estates. There are about 5500 vines per hectare: 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet-Franc and 5% Cabernet-Sauvignon. The wine harvest is mechanical; when they are perfectly ripe, the Merlot vines are first harvested, then the Cabernets (generally about a week later).
Returning to the Saint-Émilion of her childhood, Olivia Le Calvez has found her new home on the plateau of Puisseguin. She co-founded Château Clarisse in 2009 with her husband, the world-renowned hotelier Didier Le Calvez, formerly of The Pierre and The Plaza in New York and currently of The Bristol in Paris. Named after their daughter, the property is planted with nearly 11 acres of Merlot and two acres of Cabernet Franc.
Château De Cranne
In 2005, Vincent marked the arrival of the 6th generation of the Lacoste family to be involved in the running of Château de Cranne. This is a highly qualified generation, albeit one that has taken its time to arrive on the scene. 3 years of observation, listening and understanding have allowed us to imagine a new direction: placing new emphasis on exceptional terroirs, with a view to achieving “0 pesticide” status. Unoaked, fresh, light, with simple and pure aromas… this encapsulates Vincent’s taste. As any chef would say: “It’s not easy to cook something you wouldn’t eat”.
Situated on a rocky outcrop, the Château du Pierrail looks over a valley in wich the river Fonchotte meanders. This small river rises in the estate and flows into a 3 hectares lake situated in woodland in the middle of the property. This fine château of classic design, Mansart roofed, has a facade flanked by two towers. It was built in the 17th century by the Segur family on the site of an older middle ages château. From 1782 and more than a century the property was owned by the Barons de Brianson, and large portraits of the family as cavaliers are hung in the main salon of the château.
The Dufour family has cultivated the vines and produced Barsac-Sauternes wine since 1814 on the unique soils of Château Simon. The ancestral know-how in wine making has been passed on from generation to generation as the property has been gradually enlarged reaching now an area of 38 hectares including the appellations Bordeaux, Graves and Barsac-Sauternes. Today, the three generations of the Dufour family, among them highly qualified wine engineers and oenologists work together on the property and associate their talents to produce wines of excellent quality. Our constant concern with quality allows us to obtain wines highly appreciated by French as well as foreign clients.
Château Les Croisille
Chateau les Croisille is a small, family domain that grows Malbec on the calcareous clay soil terraces of Cahors. Artisan winemaking and a focus on organic principles — with virtually all of the vineyard work done by hand — ensure that the grapes are healthy and the wines are delicious.
Château Tour des Gendres
On some of the most beautiful land in southwest France, Château Tour des Gendres sits in the appellation of Bergerac. This centuries-old stronghold of classic French food and wine culture is located on the bank of the Dordogne River, a 90-minute drive east of Bordeaux. Château Tour des Gendres is a household name found on virtually every fine wine-list in France, yet it is little-known in the United States. These wines provide outstanding value; they are approachable and pleasurable, crunchy and bright, with an abundance of fruit.
Jean-Claude Berrouet is an Irouléguy native who left home to serve for more than three decades as the winemaker at Château Pétrus. But the Basque region has a powerful pull, and Jean-Claude eventually returned home to his native soil. Appropriately, he named his estate “Herri Mina”; in Basque, herri means “country,” and mina means “homesick.”
Joly studied at Columbia University and subsequently started to work for J.P. Morgan in New York City as an investment banker. He was later posted to London, but in 1977, he left banking to take over his family's wine estate Château de la Roche aux Moines in Savennières. At the time he took over the family estate, Joly was sceptical about modern agriculture and the effect it had on nature. He encountered a book on biodynamic farming and took an active interest in the ideas found there, and from 1980 started to experiment with them in his wine estate. From 1981, the estate's top wine Clos de la Coulée de Serrant has been made biodynamically, and from 1984, the estate's entire range has been produced biodynamically.
Domaine du Petit Coteau
The Feray family purchased Domaine du Petit Coteau in 2005. Mr. Feray, returned to live among the vines in his native Vouvray in 1994 at 60 years old after a succesful career as a professor and a surgeon. He knew little of viticulture at the time, but was drawn back to his roots. In addition to what he learned through independent study, Mr. Ferray built a team to help him along his path, hiring Jérôme Loisy as winemaker and Tony Brulin to take care of the vineyard. Both are still with the family today. Mr. Feray’s son Gilles joined the estate full time in 2003.
The Gouron Family has been producing wine for five generations in their estate of Cravant les Coteaux. Their Domaine Gouron is entirely located within the Chinon Appellation d’Origine Protégée. To reach the desired concentration and expression from their Cabernet Franc, the Gouron family utilizes green-covering in each row, very short pruning and reduced foliage. Each parcel is harvested and vinified separately in order to keep and reveal the expression of each terroir. The gravelly-sandy and silex soils on the plain, or the sandy-limestone hilltops provide smooth and tender fruity wines blended for Domaine Gouron Cuvée Domaine.
Domaine Laporte is the result of a perfect blending of two renowned Sancerre families. Founded in 1850 in the village of Saint-Satur, Domaine Laporte was run until 1986 by René Laporte. René was a pioneer in producing low-yield, high-quality Sancerre during a time of overproduction. Domaine Laporte is one of the most highly respected estates in the Loire Valley. It holds more than 74 acres, and the flagship Sancerre comes from one of the finest vineyards in the appellation, Domaine du Rochoy, a 25-acre monopole vineyard carved out of the flint hillside overlooking the Loire River.
François le Saint
This is the exclusively biodynamic label of one of Sancerre's most esteemed producers. The estate of François le Saint is totals 56 hectares of which 5.5 are dedicated to Sancerre. The wines are organically grown in kimmeridgian marls from vines that are 25-35 years old, and in the year 2000 they switched to entirely biodynamic harvest and vinification.
Domaine de la Bergerie
Domaine de la Bergerie has been a family estate since 1964, first purchased by Marie-Scholastique Horeau and currently run by her grandson, Yves Guégniard, with his wife, Marie-Annick. The domaine has always adhered to a high standard of excellence: green harvest, strict sorting and separate vinification of each harvested parcel. Now, as Yves and Marie-Annick’s daughter, Anne, begins to take the lead, the domaine is converting to organic viniculture and exhibiting an exciting new energy — and fascinating wines.
Clos de la Briderie
Clos de la Briderie sits on the right bank of the Loire River, between Blois and Tours, facing the Château de Chaumont sur Loire. The Girault family has been making wine here since 1854, so it was only natural for Vincent Girault to continue in his family’s footsteps. At the age of 18, he oversaw his first harvest and began to blend his own wines that reflect his passion for the terroir.
Domaine Guy Mardon
Domaine Guy Mardon is located on a plateau between the Loir and Cher rivers. An Atlantic climate with low rainfall, ample sun and cool nights, combined with sandy soil over a clay base leads to an excellent acidity and aromatics in their grapes.
The Bailly family has been growing wine in the heart of Pouilly-Fumé for five generations. The father and son team of Jean Pierre and Patrice Bailly work closely together to produce a Pouilly-Fumé of authentic, traditional character, with a powerful musky fragrance and a flinty edge, from vines up to 40 years old. This wine has real elegance, with fragrant citrus and gooseberry fruit balanced by mineral-laced acidity and is made to improve with age. Father and son make wines of character and refuse to give way to modern easy-drinking trends.
Paul Janin et Fils
The Cru Beaujolais of Moulin-à-Vent inherited its name from the stoic windmill that has overlooked these vineyards since the 15th century. In the same silent, consistent manner, Paul Janin and his family have tended their Gamay vines for generations. Paul’s son, Eric, is very much a product of this place; he is a fourth-generation grower, overseeing the fruit from its inception in the vineyard to its final resting place in the bottle. The grapes are farmed using lutte raisonnée methods, and the flaky, pink granite soil produces structured, powerful wines that gain even more character as they age. Bright, firm and earthy, they are reminiscent of the great terroirs of the Côte de Nuit. The Janins’ traditional wines have proved to be as steadfast as the Moulin-à-Vent itself.
Domaine Marc Delienne
Marc Delienne quit a job in Paris to pursue his long-standing passion for wine professionally, purchasing the Château de l’Abbeye Saint Laurent d’Arpayé in the village of Fleurie after a stint under the tutelage of Eloi Durbach of the Domaine de Trévallon. He produced his inaugural vintage in 2015, and his two cuvées are very impressive indeed. The winemaking is simple: organically cultivated grapes are fermented without chaptalization or destemming, followed by élevage in foudre, concrete tanks and old Trévallon barrels. The wines are bottled without racking, fining or filtration with low levels of sulphur.
The Perrachon family has acquired and extended its domains of La Bottiere and Les Mouilles in Juliénas since 1601. The Mouilles climate is one of the most renowned in the area. The La Bottière castle is the place they age and raise their wines in their 17th century cellars. The Perrachon estate covers 25 ha / 60 acres with 6 crus in Beaujolais. Laurent tenders its vineyards with a special attention to sustainability. The family spirit is very much alive and the future of those domains is already assured.
Olivier and Corinne Merlin are skilled wine-makers who have always believed in the potential of their Mâconnais terroirs. Olivier Merlin had his first experience of the world of wine in 1977 when he took part in the grape harvest on a Mâconnais domaine. The ambiance and the family spirit he found there were the impulse which turned him towards a career in wine-growing.
The Dutron family has been making wine at their 40 acre estate in the town of Fuissé since 1835. Today, Domaine Dutron is made by winemaker Maxime Dutron, who joined his father in the family business in 2010. The winery grows only Chardonnay, with some vines up to 70 years old. The average age of vines is 35 years, with the vineyards situated on Southeast facing slopes of clay and limestone. The vineyards are situated around both the villages of Fuissé and Solutré at 820-985 feet of altitude, in the heart of the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation. Maxime is committed to continuously improving the quality of his wines, by keeping in mind the importance of “terroir” and using traditional methods in the vineyard.
Domaine Stéphane Aladame
In 1992, at the young age of 18, Stéphane Aladame was already, entirely independently, building up his own winemaking estate, after only just finishing his viticulture and enology studies in Beaune. He yearned to work in the vineyards, but did not inherit vines or any winemaking tradition whatsoever from his family. So when a grower in his hometown of Montagny-les-Buxy decided to retire and give him the opportunity to rent just less than three hectares of vines, the determined and ambitious Stéphane dove in headfirst. Over the years, he acquired new contracts and replanted abandoned vineyards, bringing the total surface area for the domaine up to 7 hectares today. He’s earned an outstanding reputation, and his bottles grace the tables of an impressive number of Michelin-starred restaurants throughout France and abroad. The appellation owes a great deal to Stéphane, who is now a driving force for an area otherwise somewhat lacking inspiration and dynamism.
Domaine Heitz-Lochardet started in 1857 with the Nie-Vantey family, owners of many vineyards from Santenay to Clos de Vougeot. Post-phylloxera, many of the vineyards were sold, but the best Cote de Beaune vineyards were kept in the family by Georges Lochardet. Two generations later, Brigitte Lochardet married Christian Heitz and her share of the family vineyards, 5ha, became Heitz-Lochardet, which Brigitte organically farmed.
David Moreau is a young winemaker based in Santenay, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. He tends to 5 ha in Village and 1er Cru Appellations of the family vineyard, taking care of both the vines and the environment in order to produce great quality wines that reflect each Terroir. Sustainable viticulture requires more constraints than classic grape-growing, but is safer for both human beings and nature.
A passionate and successful former musician, Julien Cruchandeau has been in complete tune with his vineyards in the tiny village of Chaux, in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits above Nuits-Saint-Georges, since 2010. From a tiny cellar packed with barrels under his home, Cruchandeau offers wonderful wines in an area of Burgundy once known for high volume and lower quality. His natural practices and hands-off style create true Burgundy Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that are aromatic, bright, fresh and pretty, and clearly express a sense of place. Taking a cue from their young, exciting maker, these wines are fun, pleasing and easy to drink.
In 2012, Nicholas and Colleen Harbour quit their jobs and moved to Savigny-les-Beaune to follow their passion for wine. On arrival in Burgundy they attended the wine school in Beaune. Nicholas studied the technical aspects of winemaking and Colleen studied the commercial side of wine. Before graduating they had already established their winery, which they called Maison Harbour.
The Bader-Mimeur family own most of the property known as the Chateau de Chassagne-Montrachet with another vintner owning about 2% of the vines. The family can trace its Burgundian roots back to the early 1900s and before that the family had a little wine shop in Paris which is still in operation as an outlet for the winery.
If upon seeing the name "Bzikot" you thought it didn't sound very French, then you'd be right. Sylvain Bzikot's grandfather arrived in the village of Puligny from Poland just before the start of the war with nothing but the clothes he stood up in. Over the generations the family has acquired four hectares of vineyards within the celebrated Puligny-Montrachet and Puligny 1er Cru appellations. Additionally they own another nine hectares, producing wines under the local Bourgogne Blanc and similar appellations.
In terms of vinification Xavier Horiot is looking to be as gentle with his grapes as he can be, focussing on expressing the fruit and the terroir as naturally as possible. All the bunches are destemmed and undergo several days of cold maceration. Xavier prefers remontage (pumping over) to pigeage as he likes to keep the berries whole for as long as possible, thus allowing them to really develop their aromatic profile. New oak is well handled; 20% for the village wines, 30% for the 1ers Crus and 50% for the Grands Crus. There are a lot of old vines on the estate and they bring a natural intensity and concentration (low yields and small berries) to the wines, permitting Xavier to be über-gentle with his techniques. The result is a very impressive début, especially considering the decimation of Pommard due to hail. The wines are fragrant, balanced and charming. Powerful where they should be but also elegant in all the right places.
Named for the 300-year-old Southern Burgundy village in which it is located, Monthelie Douhairet was run by the Douhairet family for many years. In 1989, Madame Douhairet asked renowned winemaker André Porcheret to take charge and added his name to the domaine. André was the cellar manager at the Hospices de Beaune from 1976–1988, before he was hired by Lalou Bize Leroy to make wines at the newly created Domaine Leroy from 1988–1993. Today, together with his granddaughter, Cataldina Lippo, he produces wines that are classic, elegant and true to their terroirs, with impressive textures, tension and bright flavors.
Buisson-Charles has holdings among the top vineyards of Meursault, as well as Pommard and Volnay; certain parcels of Meursault vines are more than 100 years old. Patrick believes the terroir, not the winemaking, should determine the taste of the wine, and his creations reflect the essence of their appellations.
Former political journalist Blair Pethel makes roughly 2,500 cases of bright, mineral and elegant Burgundy from both his own vineyards and from fruit purchased from a handful of superb growers across the Côte D’Or. We purchased a parcel of wines direct from the Domaine last year and we were very glad we did. The wines were superb and we received plenty of positive feedback from those who secured an allocation. Pethel may be an ‘outsider’ to the region, but he makes wine like a local. These are not brash, over the top wines. On the contrary, they are subtle, refined and pure with superb terroir clarity. Pethel only buys fruit from farmers who allow him to manage the vines himself and grant him complete control of harvest. In Burgundy of all places, respect for the raw material is key.
The Laroze family first obtained vines in Gevrey-Chambertin in 1850, but the current estate did not take shape until 1919 when Suzanne Laroze married Alexandre Drouhin of Chambolle-Musigny. The joining of the two families resulted in the formation of Domaine Druohin-Laroze. Located in the center of Gevrey-Chambertin, the domaine resembles a Bordeaux chateau. A large stone wall surrounds the property, whose only entrance is an imposing iron gate. At the center of the property, is a large, 19th century manor house. Resting in the two story wine cellar beneath the house are labels bearing the names Clos Vougeot, Bonnes Mares, Clos de Beze and Les Musigny. Under the leadership of Bernard Drouhin, the domaine built a solid reputation, but a changing of the guard occurred with his death in 2001. Bernard’s son Philippe took control of the estate and made several changes to further improve the quality of the wines. Yields were cut and more precise temperature control was implemented during the vinification. The efforts quickly paid off and subsequent vintages produced deeper, richer wines.
Edouard Lepesme built his career in marketing for negociants in Burgundy and Champagne. In 2011, he decided to follow his dream and immersed himself in winemaking and viticulture, studying with some of the great names in France and abroad. In 2014, he purchased 33 acres from Andre Donat, whose father was a pioneer vigneron in the area when he planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Aligote and Gamay Noir in the 1960s.
Domaine Dominique Gruhier
Dominique Gruhier has had a rough ride. Yet he is one of the warmest, most charming, welcoming, well-mannered, and smiling men we know. As his domaine and his (currently) obscure appellation attract customers, he has been able to make the investments and changes that were necessary to let his talent shine. What beautiful wines have emerged! Fine, sexy, juicy, vivacious, saline and chalky. They are some of the greatest values in our entire portfolio for Pinot Noir, but not just any Pinot Noir: Chablisien Pinot Noir.
Domaine Bernard Defaix
Fourth generation from a family of vine-growers, Bernard Defaix started with 2 ha in 1959. From this period, a method to protect the vineyard against spring frost was discovered. Thanks to this, the vine-growers could be sure to have a minimum of harvest every year and so they began to develop stable trade markets.
The Moutard-Diligent family has been making wine in the village of Buxeuil since the 17th century. Their specialty is well-aged bubbly made primarily from Pinot Noir grown in Champagne's southern-most region of Côtes des Bars. Domaine Moutard-Diligent also has 60-acres in the villages of Epineuil and Tonnerois, where they also make some amazing Bourgogne Rouge. Though this northern outpost of Burgundy is known more for its white wines, juicy Pinot Noir flourishes just ten miles north-east of Chablis.
Stéphane Coquillette is a fourth-generation winemaker in Champagne. His father, Christian, has been running the Saint Chamant Champagne house since 1950, and he lovingly sent his son out to start his own estate when Stéphane was 25. Though mentored by his father, Stéphane developed a very different style of expression at his own house, creating leaner, drier Champagnes. Meticulously committed to organic practices, Stéphane avoids herbicides at all costs. Everything is done by hand, including trellising and pruning, which helps avoid disease and allows for a healthy crop.
A close-knit family, two brothers sharing a common vision and then passing on their values to the next generation, all this and more makes up the story of Champagne Huré-Fréres: started just over 50 years ago and still very much a family business. Today Raoul Huré and his two sons, Francois and Pierre invite you to discover their maison at Ludes in the Montagne de Reims.
The Moutard-Diligent family can trace their history of viticulture as far back as 1642, but it was not until the 1920s that they began producing champagne under their own name. Today, under the stewardship of François, Veronique, and Agnes Moutard, the estate consists of 22.5 hectares of vines in the Côte des Bar region of southern Champagne.
Jean and Chantal Berthet-Bondet came to the village of Château-Chalon in Jura after studying agronomy in Lyon. Their love of the land quickly found them harvesting their first vintage in 1985 with an old barn housing the vats, and the wines resting in the 16th century cellar under the house. The couple is meticulous, knowledgeable and passionate, and Berthet-Bondet produces a rather interesting array of white wines that truly convey their sense of place.
Domaine des Ardoisières
A passionate group of supporters cleared the vineyard in 1998 and began piecing the steep terraces back together to create Domaine des Ardoisieres. Since 2005, Champagne native Brice Omont has taken over the winemaking and is now considered one of the most exciting producers in France. For the very first time, Brice’s wines are being imported to the United States. The domaine’s 17 acres of vineyards are planted on steep, rocky slopes high above the town of Freterive.
Domaine de la Dentelle
In a tiny appellation — fewer than 500 acres planted in vines — between Jura and Savoie lives the embodiment of a great success story. Marcel Perinet has mastered controlling the temperature during fermentation and winemaking, allowing him to produce one the purest examples of Cerdon du Bugey that we have ever tasted. This makes Domaine de la Dentelle one of the most exciting and delicious wines we have found in quite some time.