When Mrs Lescure died in 1996, the estate was taken over by her children who appointed me cellar master. So, I was in charge of all the wines produced from the 18 hectares of vines. At that time, I really wanted to take part in Burgundy's renewal, or Henri Jayer's school as some journalists would call it. One day, while I was tasting wine at fellow winegrowers', I discovered how subtle Pinot could be, with so unique aromas and so delicate a texture. From that day, I decided that our efforts should be concentrated on vines and explained to the staff that their growing methods should change completely.
The following year, we grew our vines, brought the vineyard back to life by adapting our work so that the vine-stocks progressively recovered the harmony they had lost between soil and micro-climate, because it was the foundation of our terroir. From 2000 onwards, our treatments were almost only based on sulfur and copper. Green harvesting was not achieved so that the vine-stock finds its balance just after pruning. Our aim is to get 35 hl / hectare, then we reinforce the staff in the vines for disbudding and thinning out of the leaves after flowering so that we obtain thicker skins. We make up for it with a canopy height of 1,30 meters so that the 6 to 8 bunches of each vine-stock can ripen properly. We are lucky to have stocks that yield little Pinots, 100 gr. on average per bunch and it takes 150 kg of harvest to get one hectoliter of must whereas the average is closer to 130 kg. What we're looking for is a maturity that I call “root maturity”. It's the kind of maturity that allows terroir to overcome vintage. Obviously enough, our northern climate does have an influence on us and there certainly is a vintage effect, but when our wines get older, this effect fades away and it allows Pinot to transcend each of our plots.
The logical consequence of this approach is hand-picking, grape selection on a sorting out belt and a wine-making as natural as can be, without being empirical at all. All the wine-making stages are carried out through gravity. Malolactic fermentation starts naturally the following summer, which is not a problem for us since our wines are aged in barrels for 18 months. While bottling is achieved, we add just a little sulfur so that you may keep our wines for long years without troubles.
Even if we do not seek to subscribe to a trend, or to a marketing approach, we stick the “AB” (organic) logo on our bottles' labels from 2009 onwards.