Christine, daughter of Bernard, is in charge of the destiny of this 48-acre estate. By today’s standards, this is a huge domaine and an incredible burden on this charming woman’s shoulders.
Twenty-two different wines are all in the Côte-de-Beaune vineyard. Twenty-two vines to work, running from one plot to another. Twenty-two different vinifications, reds and whites, running from one tank to another. Wines to put in a barrel. Wines to mature in tanks. And a lot of trouble to market those 22 wines, most of them giving about 3,000 bottles a year. Imagine the amount of samples for the Belgian or German importer, not to mention the three hours you need to be able to taste the whole cellar of a single producer once or twice a year.
Diversity is challenging. Moving from one place to another constantly, sending the personnel to treat a couple of acres in Volnay and making them come back urgently to Savigny-Les-Beaune because part of the vines have been hit by hail. It looks rewarding on paper, but it implies a lot of responsibility and control. Fortunately, Christine has all the qualities required to command this boat in all seas, and you can feel through her father’s attitude that he has no doubt in her abilities.
Things are much easier for some neighbors, such as Bonneau du Martray for instance, where the tasting is over after two wines. Corton-Charlemagne is 90% of the crop, and it produces more than 3,000 cases of white Grand Cru (cases, not bottles), which is enough to be in the wine list of hundreds of restaurants.
The Domaine has four different plots on the Corton hill, all classified in Grand Cru. In red, in the “climats” of Perrières, Clos du Roi and Bressandes and in white, almost two acres on the famous Corton-Charlemagne. Plots in Volnay, in Pommard, in Beaune, in Savigny, in Aloxe-Corton, and of course, several in Pernand-Vergelesses.
Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine celebrated their 130th anniversary in 2009. Six generations of winegrowers settled in the charming village of Pernand-Vergelesses. Last May, we had the opportunity to taste a magnificent bottle of Pommard 1er Cru Les Epenots produced at almost mid-term in 1947, 64 years ago. The wine, sorry to say, was amazingly young, almost worrisome, especially for the people that think that Burgundy doesn’t age well. Christine’s husband was commenting that he believed Beaune 1er Cru Montrevenots 2003 could compete with the longevity of Epenots ‘47 and while drinking that wine, we all thought it might be very possible. By the way, this first growth of Beaune has an incredible ability to deliver every year, with no exception so far, a wonderfully balanced wine.
You will notice when visiting their website that the address of the Domaine is Rameau-Lamarosse Street in Pernand-Vergelesses. Rameau-Lamarosse is the name of a family whose ancestor was a barrel maker in Burgundy in the 17th century. Ultimately, the family donated their Pernand-Vergelesses vines to the Hospices de Beaune where they auction their production every year for charity. The year 2011 was the 150th edition.
When your estate is 130 years old and you live in Pernand-Vergelesses, a village totally surrounded by vines; when two-thirds of the mansion park are also vines; and your street bears the name of a cuvée from the famous Hospices de Beaune yearly auction, you have to be overwhelmed by the power of the terroir. She handles it all and on top of that, she speaks fluent English. Some kind of a woman, isn’t she?