Until 1989, production had been sold in bulk to wine-merchants. But that year, Guillemette and I took over the estate. We have 8 hectares, 25% of them are planted in white grapes and 75% in red. With such a little surface, we have the time to take a good care of our vines. We could sell 8 “climats” (specific growths) with one plot of Beaune first growth “les Champs Pimont” but we prefer to blend our “village” appellations to produce only one Givry red wine and one white wine called “Haut Colombier”. However, all the first growths are sold as such. In 2005, we started to work soils again as my father used to. The superficial roots were cut, so the vine had to plunge deep into the ground to live in harmony with the terroir.
The pruning is adapted to our goals of production with 2 buds on the spur and 3 on the cane for the Pinot so that vegetation has more space. Disbudding is systematically carried out and in the years when grapes are big we just let one grape per shoot with a maximum of 8 per stock. Once grapes have been sorted out, we never have big yields. We have chosen rational pest control and have abandoned herbicides, acaricides and sexual confusion. Our interventions depend on the risks of diseases. One of the factors that determine the start of the harvest is acidity. With low yields, phenolic maturity is never a problem. With a little crew of 15 pickers, we sort out the grapes in the rows so that only healthy, ripe grapes get to the winery.
The Pinot is cooled down to 12°C so as to have a cold fermentation of 3 to 5 days, depending on the vintage. Then, natural yeasts wake up, start working wildly when the vat's temperature reaches about 32/ 33°C and colour is extracted. A few punchings of the cap are carried out at the climax of fermentation. Devatting takes place at around 25°C, even if there are still some sugars left and free-run wine and press wine are blended in another vat for 8 days before being run in barrels. Our wines stay in casks for a year, with a change every 2 years- that is 50% of new barrels.
It is easier in Chardonnay since after the fermentation start, with our indigenous yeasts, we fill our casks, a third of which are new. Our only task consists in putting lees back in suspension during the aging which does not last more than a year. Our wines are filtered before bottling for we want them to get some brightness.