Volnay

Parcelle(s)

Volnay
Surface area: 1.43 hectares
Geographical location: The lieux-dits of Ez Blanches and Le Clos des Chênes
Aspect: East
Plantation density: 10,000 vines per hectare

Volnay sits up high, dominating the Côte de Beaune, and on a clear day, one can see as far as Mont Blanc. And this broad scope is reflected in its wines. Volnay is a traditional Burgundy village, with a relatively low profile that focuses fully on its vines. Back in 1816, when wine writer André Jullien penned The Topography of all the Known Vineyards, he wrote, “Volnay produces the lightest, most refined, and most agreeable of the wines of the Côte de Beaune,” and marveled at its charming bouquet, while bishop and theologian Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet would allow only Volnay wines to be served at his table. In them, he saw, “Courage, strength, joy, spiritual intoxication, and the transportation of the soul.” On the day he died, he ordered six barrels of Volnay to be delivered to the bishop’s palace in Meaux, to ensure nothing would be amiss at his funeral. It’s hard to imagine a more Burgundian gesture!

In the 18th century, historian Claude Courtépée and lawyer and king’s counsel Edme Beguillet were in agreement: if the former Dukes of Burgundy, Knights of Malta, monks of Maizières, and former kings enjoyed Volnay wines so much, it was because of the varied view, the fine air, and the excellence of the wines and waters of the land. For a long time, the village of Volnay produced what was known as le vin de primeur or paillé. After a brief spell in the vat and a quick press, the wine from these white grapes went into barrels and straight into the cellar. Then from the early 19th century onwards, red wines gradually replaced the œil-de-perdrix white, this terroir offering the most ardent and forthright expression of the Pinot Noir grape.

Vignes

Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Soil and subsoil: White marl and clay-limestone
Plantation density: 10,000 vines per hectare
Vines: 100% massal
Pruning: Guyot
Work in the vines : Replanting of missing vines in the fall. Earthing up in the winter. Spraying with a nettle and rhubarb infusion, and a brew of horsetail and silica, tansy, sage and yarrow. Biodynamic 500 and 501 preparations were used at the end of winter and in spring, and 501 again before flowering. Removal of excess vegetation in spring.

Histoire

This wine comes from two plots from two neighboring climats, covering 1.5 hectares and with a great deal in common. Facing south-southeast, they are drenched in sunshine and have such prestigious neighbors as Taille Pieds and Cailleret. This side of Volnay is close by Monthélie and Meursault, and is where the line of the Côte takes a turn from east-facing to southeast.
Le Clos des Chênes has a choice place in the lineage of Volnay premier crus. Part of our plot is classed as Volnay Village in Le Clos des Chênes (0.6736 hectares) and is located on the side of the Chaignot (or Chagnot) hill, which explains its long-standing name. Le Clos des Chênes is among those excellent cuvées highlighted in 1855 by Dr Jules Lavalle, covering 16.2740 hectares, making it the biggest climat of the appellation, which, at the time, was considered equal to Taille Pieds. He considered its wines to be “Of the first order.” The climat today covers 15 hectares.