Let’s welcome Maison Joseph Drouhin from Burgundy to the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Read about this winery’s long history and the wines that they will be pouring for us, in their own words.
About Maison Joseph Drouhin
With close to 90 different appellations, Maison Joseph Drouhin offers a fascinating array of Burgundy terroirs in all their authenticity and subtle variations. For the last 130 years, Maison Joseph Drouhin has been in the hands of the Drouhin family. Today, the fourth generation is at the helm, animated by the same passion that inspired the founder of the company. Joseph Drouhin has adopted organic and biodynamic approaches. Only natural products are used in the vineyards and all procedures show the utmost respect for the soil, the vine and the environment. The style of Joseph Drouhin is an alliance between character, balance and harmony. Wines meant to be drunk young are fresh and subtle; wines meant for keeping acquire with age a luscious complexity.
Joseph Drouhin was a daring and enterprising young man who came from the Chablis region. In 1880, at the age of 22, he settled in Beaune and founded there his own wine company. His aim was to offer wines of great quality that would bear his name.
His son Maurice succeeded him and began to establish a vineyard Domaine for the House, purchasing land in some outstanding appellations such as Clos des Mouches and Clos de Vougeot.
Robert Drouhin, who succeeded Maurice in 1957, gave the Domaine its present dimension, acquiring many vineyards, especially in Chablis where he was able to recognize the true potential. He was one of the first in Burgundy to introduce “culture raisonnée” (doing away with pesticides and other chemicals) and to build a laboratory of enology run by Laurence Jobard, the very first woman enologist in Burgundy.
Philippe, Véronique, Laurent and Frédéric are Robert and Françoise Drouhin’s four children. They uphold the values of the House and its constant quest for quality, for the pleasure of all those who have a deep appreciation for the natural elegance of Burgundy.
With 78 hectares (193 acres), the Joseph Drouhin Domaine is one of the largest estates in the region. It owns vineyards in all of Burgundy: Chablis (39 hectares – 96 acres), Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, (36 hectares – 89 acres), Côte Chalonnaise (3 hectares – 8 acres). It is comprised of a majority of Premier and Grand Crus, planted with the two Burgundian grape varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The Domaine was put together through the years, thanks to judicious purchases and agreements between families. Some vineyards are among the most famous in Burgundy, such as Clos des Mouches, Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche, Musigny, Clos de Vougeot, Corton-Charlemagne, etc.
Starting with the vintage 2008, the name “Vaudon” will be associated with Joseph Drouhin for all its Chablis wines as a sign of the firm’s allegiance to this historical terroir. The Moulin de Vaudon, the property of Joseph Drouhin, is an 18th Century watermill straddling the Serein River, close to the Grand Cru vineyards of Chablis. Because of its unique location at the heart of their 38 hectare vineyard estate (95 acres), this historical mill is the headquarters of the Drouhin Domaine in Chablis.
Being able to express the exact character of each terroir is our foremost concern; therefore we have chosen the organic and biodynamic approach. Our credo is “to bring natural answers to natural problems“. We respect and ensure the quality of our soils: plowing by horse, allowing the grass to grow between the vines and using natural compost. We let our vines thrive using natural methods only; treatments are based on herb infusions and natural predators are used instead of synthetic products.
The Wines We Will Feature at the International Festival Tasting Room
Macon Villages 2018 – Made from the Chardonnay grape. Slow stainless steel fermentation. 6-8 months. The colour of the wine is bright and limpid. The nose is floral and fruity. Very straightforward and direct on the palate, as if biting into a grape. Fresh and light, with a very pleasant aftertaste.
Chablis “Propriétés” Reserve de Vaudon 2018 – Chardonnay. Harvesting by hand, in small open crates in order to preserve the integrity of the fruit. Pressing very slowly to respect the fruit. Juices from the very last pressings are not retained. Fermented in stainless steel tank 7-8 months. An elegant wine. Brilliant colour, with hints of green. Typical Chablis nose, where aromas of citrus (lemon) fern and even salty sensations predominate. On the palate: vigorous and lively, but in a soft mode. A lot of finesse and balance.
Cote de Beaune Rouge 2016 – Located on the hill overlooking the city of Beaune. Biodynamic cultivation of these Pinot Noir grapes. Maceration and vinification takes 2 to 3 weeks using indigenous yeasts. A true delight and a great harmony! A beautiful purple colour. On the nose, delicate and fruity aromas such as strawberry and red currant. On the palate, the tannins are refined and lend a nice roundness to the body. Elegant aftertaste.
Morgon 2017– From the Beaujolais region, this wine is made with semi-carbonic maceration from full bunches of Gamay grapes. It is a deep garnet colour with powerful aromas of cherry and wild berries. Fleshy on the palate. A lot of character.
Cote de Beaune Blanc 2017 – Trade Only – Chardonnay that is hand-harvested in small open crates in order to preserve the integrity of the fruit. Pressing very slow so as to respect fruit. Juices from the very last pressings are not retained. The wine goes directly into barrels after “débourbage” (decanting of white wine to reduce sediment). 20% new French oak. 12 months in barrel. A truly delicious and harmonious wine. Pale gold colour, very bright. The aromas bring to mind honey, almond and lemongrass (citronella). As the wine matures, intense flavours of grilled hazelnut and almonds are in evidence.
All photos courtesy drouhin.com.