Creating Burgundy Premier Cru
Time passes too quickly when you are drinking beautiful wine, eating hot, crispy fresh bread with soft goat cheese and discussing adventures in vineyards and winemaking with others on the same lifestyle journey. Dawn and Bill recently enjoyed visiting with Alexia and Caroline, winery owner friends in Burgundy.
Alexia and Caroline both left successful business careers to reconnect with nature and fulfil a childhood dream: to create a wine estate. The couple chose the Château de Garnerot in Burgundy because of its deep historical roots in the Burgundian wine making tradition.
After obtaining their Professional Agricultural Certificate at the Lycée Viticole de Beaune and completing internships in Côte de Nuits and Côte Chalonnaise, their first vintage was 2018.
They have given a new life to the 18th Century Château de Garnerot in the village of Mercurey, the most widely recognized and important wine village of the Côte Chalonnaise where Pinot Noir is the dominant grape variety.
Les Vignes Franches is a Beaune Premier Cru vineyard in the French wine region of Burgundy, mostly planted to Pinot Noir. Here over one fifth of all the vineyards qualify for premier cru designation with wines characterized by their deep color, full body and spicy cherry notes.
We were so impressed by their Vignes Franches 2018 Grand Cru that we purchased a pallet of the vintage and shipped it home to share it with our "Cellar Club" members.
Historically the owners of this area did not have to pay tax on the land, hence the name 'Vignes Franches' "free vines". The clay soils are scattered with small pebbles allowing easy drainage of water. Here we find the same opulence as in neighboring Pommard as well as an extremely pleasant fruit-forwardness even when young.
The Beaune Premier Cru "Vignes Franches" block is located next to the renowned Clos des Mouches in Côte Chalonnaise which lies to the south and enjoys the same exquisite terroir as its famous neighbor the Côte d'Or.
In Les Vignes Franches the average vine age is 35 years planted in clay and limestone soil, hand picked and manually sorted to select only the finest fruit for this wine which then matures in French oak barrels for 18 months.
From one of the best Premier Cru vineyards of Beaune, Alexia and Caroline have produced a wine that is capable of ageing to perfection and we were lucky enough to capture a small quantity to share with our members..