In Bourgogne, Domaine Parent Pommard is going biodynamic

Jun 17, 13 In Bourgogne, Domaine Parent Pommard is going biodynamic
the house of Domaine Parent Pommard

the house of Domaine Parent Pommard

I was in Bourgogne not long ago on a press trip with Discover the Origin, an EU initiative to introduce the well known but possibly misunderstood regions of Bourgogne, the Douro and Parma. During the trip, one of the producers we got to meet was Anne Parent, winemaker and part owner of Domaine Parent Pommard. The domaine is situated in the and around the village of Pommard and they make both red and white Bourgogne.

half empty barrel room, Domaine Parent Pommard

half empty barrel room, Domaine Parent Pommard

We started our chat in the half empty cellars of the domaine. Anne apologised for the empty space saying that usually the cellar is full to the top but as the last few harvest have been bad in the region, stocks are low. She is concerned about the 2013 vintage and is hoping for a bumper crop because otherwise…

The conversation then turned to biodynamic practices in Bourgogne. During the trip, I  had spoken to many producers and while many used biodynamic practices, Anne was the first one to tell me that she was actually in the process of going totally biodynamic. That is a brave thing to do in Bourgogne where the weather is not always warm and sunny and there are a myriad of issues that growers face every year.

tasting the burgundies

tasting the burgundies

Anne told me that they are currently in the process of going biodynamic but it is a step by step process and they are not 100% there they are however, going to be certified organic this coming year. In 2010 they started their biodynamic policies but is has been a great challenge. However, she will not go back to chemicals or sustainable practices. She sees going biodynamic as an investment in the vineyard. To do that though,  they must have the right equipment and strategy. According to Anne, “…you have to think of the consequences of how you organize the vineyard, the work involved and the cost…”

Anne Parent

Anne Parent

Working in a biodynamic vineyard is completely different in that you have to be precise and serious, she continued. You cannot make a mistake in your viticulture, especially in Bourgogne. You have to be dedicated to the vines, as she said, you cannot go as a tourist when you are using biodynamic or organic practices, you always have to be there. In the end, the goal is to produce the best grapes and great wine.

Balance is key in wine growing and wine making she says. They start by sorting the fruit, once in the vineyard, then by sorting tables and finally by hand destemming to get the best possible grapes for her wines.

In her opinion there are no bad vintages, just bad winemakers. You have to choose the best grapes and work with them.

Pommard

Pommard

While I was there, I had been introduced to the newest designation in Bourgogne – Coteaux Bourgogne, brought in to replace the Bourgogne Grande Ordinaire designation. It was introduced in 2011 and the concept is basically to allow grapes other than pinot noir and chardonnay be allowed into the blend of both white and red Burgundy. The producers will be allowed to use not only other grapes grown in Bourgogne, such as cesar and pinot beurot but also grapes from nearby Beaujolais.

2002 Domaine Parent Pommard Corton

2002 Domaine Parent Pommard Corton

Her opinion of the new Coteaux Bourgogne? It should be a good replacement for the previous designation but it should first and foremost be about quality. It’s great for entry level wines because this means they can produce bigger volume, it will make the producers more open to Coteaux Bourgogne because they will be able to increase production but have lower prices. The danger is in taking Burgundy down instead of the desired effect of taking it up. She warns that producers should not just dump their inferior grapes into the blend.  This is Burgundy’s chance to make their wines accessible to all, fantastic wines at good value and quality. The trick will be to keep their character and authenticity.

As for Domaine Parent Pommard, they do not see themselves participating in the Coteaux Bourgogne as they have very limited production but she would like to expand her vineyards in the future. Anne’s main problem is to find the best vineyards around, they don’t want to be the biggest just the best.

Afterwards, we had a small tasting of some of the domaine’s wines, which were a true pleasure to drink. Full of character, depth and complexity, much like the woman who makes them.

 

2 Comments

  1. Interesting article, thank you. I do agree Burgundy wines are rather pricey, though it’s worth it, I’d like to see more wines made that are not based on monopoly. I’ve tasted a blend by Domaine Fanny Sabre and I can see the potential of Burgundian wines in different style.
    I’ve added a link to your page on my blog.:)

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