The AOC Macon is a regional appellation which represents 3750 hectares. They have 3 types of soils: 1. clay soils from the Marnes and Clay region on which white grapes are produced, 2. the siliceous soils on which black grapes are grown, and 3. the “bélouze” clay soil or “argilo-calcaire soil” of most other hectares on which both white wine grapes and reds are grown. The whole appellation represents 220 000 hectoliters.
Domaine de la Soufrandiere - Bret Brothers
Lieu-Dit Les Bourgeois
At the Domaine de la Soufrandiere, it is the family that matters. In 1947, after finally buying the vineyard first as a family house, the grandfather began selling grapes to a cooperative in Vinzelle. The current domaine has 4,5 hectares of Pouilly–Vinzelles and 1 hectare of Macon-Vinzelles.
In 2001, Bret Brothers appeared as the commercial negotiating brand for the family. They only buy grapes with biologic certification, and focus on hand harvest. They produce 55000 bottles for 20 different cuvées on a total of 10 hectares, half of which they export to 30 different countries.
Clos des Vignes du Mayne
The Clos des Vignes du Maynes were first planted at the beginning of the 10th century (909-910) by the Benedictin monks of Cluny. Today, this exploitation of 7 1⁄2 hectares is the property of the Guillot Family who bought it in 1954. They grow Pinot noir, Gamay and Chardonnay on 17 parcels of argilo-calcaire soil, and since 1998, are all considered to be biodynamic.
Domaine Georges Duboeuf
Georges Duffoeuf’s domaine produces 30 millions bottles and exports to many countries including 15% Beaujolais nouveau. However, in 1993, Georges had the revolutionary idea of opening a wine museum in Romaneche Thorins. In order to describe wine production in a more recreational and instructive manner, he decided to get around the law requirements in order to communicate the appreciation of wine in his own way. Today, some 3,000,000 visitors have discovered the little hamlet. Georges’ original wine museum actually developed oenotourisme in France by using animated films for the youngest visitors to introduce them to wine production and by presenting the more complicated production steps to adults in order to teach them in depth about each process involved in the industry.
In 1973, Marcel Lapierre built his exploitation with 7 hectares of vineyards in Villié Morgon. Since then, Marcel Lapierre decided to care for his vines in a biodynamic way. Since 2010, the Lapierre brother and sister partnership is taking care of the 16 hectares of vines and produce only Gamay with or without sulfur as their father used to do; thus, they maintain the domain energy as it previously was.
Founded in 1946 in Ampuis by Etienne Guigal as negociant, they are now vinifying and taking care of 215 hectares of vineyards of the appellations Côte Rotie, Hermitage, Crozes- Hermitage, Saint Joseph , as well as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Tavel , and Côtes du Rhone. The owners of the Chateau d’Ampuis are taking care of Crus as La Turque, la Mouline, and La Landonne on Côte-Rôtie.
Domaine Georges Vernay
We visited the Domaine Georges Vernay where Paul presented to us some personal anecdotes. Since 1940, Georges has worked on promoting the wines from the Appellation Condrieu. His daughter is now in charge of the Domaine after her career as an italian teacher. When she began, she wanted Condrieu to be the wine of all the best tables of the world. Today, we can say that she succeeded: she has been elected « man of the year » by Bethane et Desseauve ! They are asking for the biological certification this year ; nonetheless the production has been biological for many years already.
Les Vins de Vienne
Yves Cuilleron, Pierre Gaillard, and François Villard dreamed of a new Seyssuel vineyard. They started in 1996 by renting some vines and finally bought some Syrah and Viognier that they planted with care. But a few years later, the wine fretters arrived in the region and destroyed all of the plantations. They rebuilt everything in 1996 and got their first vintage in 1998. They now have 20 hectares planted in Seyssuel started between 1996 and 2001, which make 500 00 bottles a year.
This domaine is situated on the Côtes-du-Rhône appellations: Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Cornas, Saint-Perau, Saint-Joseph , and Condrieu. It was founded in 1834, then bought in 2006 by the Frey family from Champagne, who are also owners of the Château la Lagune in Bordeaux. They have 100 hectares of vines, with a majority being Syrah, which are certified as sustainable agriculture, but are actually fully organic, even though they are not certified.
Since 1808, the Maison Chapoutier has been taking care of their vines with patience and respect by using biodynamics. In 1879, Polydor Chapoutier bought their first vineyards and began to vinify. They pay attention to each plot of their 350 hectares, respecting the fruit and the vine in general. Moreover, they have the world record of 100/100 given by Robert Parker, thanks to its Hermitage and Crus from the Côtes-du-Rhone notoriety. Their vineyards are in Rhone, Beaujolais, Provence, Roussillon, Australia, Alsace, Portugal, and even Champagne!