Founded in 1971 by Aubert de Villaine, Domaine de Villaine is located in Bouzeron, the heart of the Cote Chalonnaise region. Chassagne-Montrachet and Santenay are off just to the North with Rully and Mercurey to the South. The first vines on the property were planted by the monks of Cluny.
Philosophy: Organic Cultivation
In order to produce high-quality wine, Aubert de Villaine aimed to raise healthy grapes that represent the magnificent terroir of Bourgogne. These are the reasons that Domaine de Villaine chose to adopt organic agricultural methods. They have been certified by Qualice-France since 1986, and entrusted to respect the natural balance and interaction of the soil and vines. This includes abstaining from pesticides and herbicides. The only fertilizer used is organic vegetable compost.
The wine making process is just as respectful of nature as the work in the vineyards. Harvest is done manually, to ensure that the grapes aren’t damaged. There is a strict sorting of all grapes that are harvested, to ensure the health of the grapes. Vinification is done naturally, to highlight the natural nuances of the terroir and grape variety. The wine is matured in tuns, oak casks and or tanks. These methods are used to bring out the fresh, fruity characteristics of each wine. Domaine de Villaine avoids use with new oak casks, to avoid smothering the wines natural flavors with overbearing notes of vanilla or oak.
3 Fantastic Grapes, 3 Unique Vineyards
The Domaine has three appellations in the Cote Chalonnaise: Bouzeron (Aligote), Rully (Chardonnay) & Mercurey (Pinot Noir). This small village under the sun has a long and rich tradition of producing quality wines that are great representation of their terroir. The vines are planted exclusively on the slopes. The limestone-rich soil is poor in nutrients and allows the estate to manage yield control. Its warm climate is ideal for the ripening of the grapes.
The White wines from the Aligote have quite the reputation in Bouzeron. Aligote is known for their distinctive dry character, roundness and finesse. The grape is cultivated in Burgundy and has been for a while. Bouzeron is the only location in Burgundy where the varietal is cultivated exclusively on slopes.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are two grape varieties that are known world-wide for the great wines that they produce in Burgundy. The wines from Domaine de Villaine are no different. Their single parcel vineyards are impressive. Most organic wines do not age well, one of the many characteristics of organic wines that set Domaine de Villaine apart. The wine is ready to be enjoyed now or after a few years aging.
The Domaine is now directed by Pierre de Benoist, Aubert de Villaine’s nephew. Pierre has continued to follow in his uncle’s footsteps. His efforts have not gone unnoticed, he received Decanter Magazine’s “Man of the Year” Award in 2010.