“Wine is made in the Vineyard not the Winery”

A great quote from Grégory Patriat, Winemaker for the Jean-Claude Boisset Winery in Burgundy, as he lead a Wine Seminar at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival last weekend. Our 45 minutes with him was definitely one of the highlights!

Grégory introduced us to the Burgundy, France wine region which runs from Chablis AOC in the north to Beaujolais AOC in the south. Only two grapes are grown in the region, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and this is where they were born 2,000 years ago tended by monks. And while only these two grapes are grown, they produce hundreds of different types of wines from the 14 AOCs.

Jean-Claude Boisset founded his winery in 1961 at only 18 years old. The winery is housed in a former convent where Grégory tends to the wines. “He strives for authentic wines in which human intervention has been kept to a bare, discreet minimum. Utilizing native yeasts and never more than 30% new oak, the wines are concentrated, well-rounded, and naturally expressive of their terrior (land).Grégory emphasized how important he feels it is to respect the terroir… let the wine be made in the vineyard and not the winery. They focus on quality not quantity, producing only 200,000 bottles in 45 varieties. They are also very innovative in their practices like championing screwcap closures for their Grand Cru wines (the first Grand Cru ever sealed with screwcap).

Grégory tasted three of their fantastic wines with us.

  • Bourgogne Chardonnay 2006: A lovely white wine with a rich, tropical, white flower nose and rich bright apricot taste.  Not your typical oaky Chardonnay. Only 10,000 bottles were made and it retails around $26.
  • Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2006: A fabulous red wine with an earthy, spicy nose and raspberry, earthy taste. The Pinot Noir is a very difficult grape to work with and Grégory has done wonders with this one. Again only 10,000 bottles produced, retail $26.
  • Beaune 1er Cru “Les Bressandes” Beaune 2005: This premier-cru (their highest end wines) red comes from what is supposed to be one of the best production years, 2005. Beaune is the wine capital of Burgundy. Its nose is of raisins and dried fruit with a taste of berries.

The Boisset Family Estates, which Jean-Claude Boisett wines are part of, was founded in 1980 and is a collection of more than twenty historical and unique wineries boast leading positions in the world’s pre-eminent terroirs, including Burgundy, Beaujolais, the Rhône Valley, the South of France, Canada, and California’s Russian River Valley and Napa Valley. “Guided by generations of winemaking tradition, we bring that heritage into each bottle we create today. We believe that wine must reflect its unique terroir; in that spirit, 100% of our estate vineyards have converted to organic farming and some practice biodynamic farming.”