Bonnes Mares


Bonnes Mares
Surface: 0,7002 ha
Geographical situation: a unique micro-climate as the parcel is partly sheltered by rock from the old quarry.
Exposure: East-facing.
Plantings: 1901/1902 1915/1916 1980/1981 1988/1989 1991/1992 1997/1998

At the start of Michel de Saint-Pierre’s novel The Aristocrats, set in Burgundy, the incorrigible twins Osmond and Louis-César get their hands on a bottle of Bonnes Mares 1937 forgotten in the cellars of the family château. Secretly, greedily, they drink the “subtle, fiery” liquid straight from the bottle. Drunk in this way, or more conventionally, this Grand Cru always leads to unforgettable memories!


Geographic situation: The appellation sits astride the border between Morey-Saint-Denis and Chambolle-Musigny. Our vineyard is located in an old quarry on the larger side, in Chambolle-Musigny, close to the border between the two villages’ land, where the influences of the terroir are balanced against the sheen of Pinot Noir.
Grape variety: 100% Pinot Noir
Soil and subsoil: pure silt with a very low rough sand equivalent. Fairly pebbly,  very calcareous. GEST compost.
Planting density: 11 111,11 vines / ha
Yield: 16,28 hl / ha
Rootstock: 35 % of massal selection and 50 % of clones.
Pest management since 1992
Organic agriculture: since 1998. Received official approval in 1999
Bio-dynamic agriculture since the 2001 campaign.
Training style: Guyot
Vineyard news: Ullage planted out. Earthing-up of the vines in winter. Spraying of nettle and rhubarb, horsetail, yarrow, tansy, comfrey tea during each treatment. Biodynamic preparation of 500 and 501 at the end of the winter and of 501 in spring before the flower. Suckers removed in spring.

* Groupement d'Etude et de Suivi des Terroirs


The name of Bonnes Mares remains a puzzle. Is it a reminder of mother goddesses? An antique bas-relief illustrating this divine threesome, protecting motherhood, life and earthly fruit, was purportedly discovered on the site but is now lost. The idea sounds implausible, no better than the suggestion that it is a corruption of “bonnes mères”, good mothers. What is certain is that the vineyard was created by the Bernardine Sisters of Notre-Dame de Tart (between Dijon and Saint-Jean-de-Losne), the main female branch of the order, closely linked with Cîteaux. Founded in 1125, this abbey planted several vineyards in the 1140s, in particular the Clos de Tart and Bonnes Mares at Morey-Saint-Denis. The congregation moved to Dijon in 1623, but retained its vines until the Revolution in 1789.

It seems more likely that the name comes from the old French and Burgundian word marer (to cultivate). The Bonnes Mares, then, are well maintained vines, lovingly cared for. They are certainly worth the effort!
Les Bonnes Mares has never been a monopole enclosure, simply a jointly-held climat. Until the Revolution, the owners were mostly religious communities, noble and bourgeois families who left their mark on history, many of which have streets named after them in Dijon.