Dominique Derain – Bourgogne
Born in 1955 in the famous Hospices de Beaune, Dominique followed a very “burgundy” path: after 5 years as a barrel maker he turned to winemaking. He seized the opportunity to buy his own vines in St-Aubin in 1988. He soon decided to take on biodynamic principles, which fit the wines he makes: full of energy and authentic. Nowadays he owns and rents parcels through the côtes de Beaune and also buys grapes from people he knows work well. One of the first parcels he started working on was one hectare on lieu-dit “Le Ban”. It’s a parcel that Dominique used to walk past when hiking in the region and he always thought that hei f he was to make wine he would do in this very spot. It was planted in the 1920s but in the last 25 years due to international demand for oaky white St-Aubin and the ease to cultivate chardonnay which can be harvested early and topped up with sugar in the vat without a problem, the share of pinot noir has gone from 60% to less than 15% ! He jokes that in 10 years they might be able to claim a monopole! He remembers that when he began working 30 years ago there was also reds in Puligny. He also works a parcel since 2000 in Mercurey his grandad used to work on which he rents form his mother. It is a 100 year old complanted vine crop, with Pinot Noir and Pinot Beurrot. It is now rare but complanted vines were common in the past. Pinot Beurrot is cited in the first appellation status dating 1935 so he can replant if needed. One of the reasons it was uprooted was that it’s light colour deterred growers who think a darker wine is a better wine. In the past a lot of varietals were actually used for a darker colour, such has hybrid Baco Noir or the Gamay Fréaux. The Mercurey of Dominique is made just like his grandfather did and amateurs like his Pinot noir even wit hits light colour. His wines can be so light they look almost like Poulsard from the Jura. Dominique also works a parcel of Gevrey-Chambertin “En Vosne” where historically were produced “vins medecins” made to enrich other wines in structure and substance. Although Dominique shows pride in his near-monopole of red in St-Aubin he also works one of the finest parcels of 1er cru white: “En Remilly”. It’s a steep south facing hillside, in the continuation of Montrachet.
AOC Gevrey-Chambertin “En Vosne”
Vineyard: lieu-dit “En Vosne” 0,3 ha parcel
Grape variety: 100% Pinot Noir (0,20a 108 year old, 0,10a 8 year old)
Terroir: soil is iron rich clay and limestone
Winemaking: hand harvested in boxes, whole bunch stomped by foot, fermenting between 7 and 21 days in a wooden vat, it is then aged between 12 and 18 month in oak barrels depending on the vintage, one racking before bottling.