Regional Focus; Burgundy

Burgundy, or in its native tongue, Bourgogne, is a historic wine province made up of more AOCs than any other part of France. Burgundian winegrowers focus heavily on creating true reflections of their unique and rich terroir.

The earliest historically recorded plantings in the Burgundy region date back the 2nd Century AD, although it is believed the Celts may have been practicing viticulture in the area long before this, perhaps even back in the B.C. era.

Much of Burgundy’s wine history comes hand in hand with its religious history – the Roman Catholic Church had an enormous impact on the success of Burgundy as a wine region. By 910, The Benedictines or ‘Black Monks’ had possession over a significant amount of vineyard land, and would maintain this ownership for centuries. In 1098, another order of the Roman Catholic Church was established in France – the Cistercians – and their Monastery was situated in Burgundy. This order dedicated themselves to wine and quality viticulture. In 1336, they created the Clos de Vougeot, a prestigious walled vineyard that is still operational today. With such immense dedication to the art of winemaking, the Cistercians soon noticed how vastly different wines could be coming from different growing areas. This was to be the foundation for the later establishment of the Cru titles and the region’s renowned understanding of terroir.

Today, Burgundy resembles the quintessential vision of France. It is romantic and nostalgic – dubbed by some as the land of fine art and living. Life is fun and beautiful, yet without rush, and the locals believe this is down to the excellent food and even better wine.

The region links the Paris Basin to the Saône River corridor, and many of the vineyards are spread over undulating hills and banks. Part of the appeal of Burgundy, and the reason it is home to so many different AOCs, is it’s soils and lands are so diverse – even within itself. So much so, that even grapes from the same singular vineyard sometimes produce different results.

To learn more about this diverse and stunning wine region, click here.

 

A Burgundy village perched on a hilltop overlooking undulating vineyards in the valleys and on the hillsides below.

The vineyards of Clos de Vougeot are some of the most famous in the world. Seriously damaged during the French revolution, the estate was restored in late 19th century. Today the vineyards surrounding the castle are shared, and their association runs a wine museum in this chateau.

 

 

Domaine Bertagna – The Bare Facts

Domaine Bertagna;

Owns 28 ha of land.

One of the key Growers in Vougeot, with impressive holdings allied to Grand Cru’s, including two monopoles.

Owned by Eva Reh & Mark Siddle.

Total Land Holdings in Burgundy; Chambertin 0.2ha, Clos Saint-Denis 0.5ha, Clos de Vougeot 0.3ha, Vougeot Clos de la Perriere (Monopole) 2ha, Les Petits Vougeots 2.5ha, Les Cras 1.2ha, Clos Bertagna (monopole) 0.3ha, Chambolle-Musigny Les Plantes 0.2ha, Vosne-Romanee Les Beaux Monts Bas 1ha, Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Murgers 1ha, Hautes Cotes de Nuits 16ha, Bourgogne (rouge) 2ha.

Domaine Bertagna in Vougeot

Villages wines receive 25% new oak.
1er Cru wines receive 50% new oak.

Grand Cru wines receive 100% new oak.

Typically the winery avoids racking, opting for a more reductive style of wine making, looking for strength and aging potential and showcasing their terroirs in each cuvee.

The Reh family has owned this estate since 1982 with considerable renovations taking place since this time, including the launch of a country house hotel with twelve guest rooms.

This Domaine’s label is often considered to be understated, but these wines are mouth filling, strong on spice and character.

The winery famously produces Chardonnay from their Les Cras plot within Vougeot, a rare white wine in this Grand Cru vineyard.

Chateau de Clos du Vougeot overlooks the Grand Cru vineyards of the Clos du Vougeot

1. 2013 Domaine Bertagna Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru

  1. 2013 Domaine Bertagna Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru: This walled vineyard is overlooked by Clos Blanc De Vougeot Castle. Delicate and nuanced with lingering notes of dark morello cherry.

Domaine Bertagna is one of the key Growers in Vougeot not to mention grand Crus through out the Côte de Nuits.

2. 2013 Beaux Frères Upper Terrace Pinot Noir

2. 2013 Beaux Frères Upper Terrace  Pinot Noir: This former pig farm now produces some of Oregon’s best Pinot Noir and is part owned by Robert Parker…

Focusing heavily on bio-dynamics and low intervention wine making. This focus on letting nature do the work really lets the fruit from this vineyard sing.

3. 2013 Hawkshead First Vines Pinot Noir

  1. 2013 Hawkshead First Vines Pinot Noir: Nestled in the “Valley Of Vines” in the heart of Gibbston, ‘13 was a classic vintage. Crushed rock, richly spiced plums and tension through the roof.

Denis and Ulrike have a deep and loving involvement with the land. It really shines through in this wine crafted solely from their initial plantings in Central Otago.

4. 2013 Frédéric Magnien Vosne Romanée Aux Champs Perdrix

 

  1. 2013 Frédéric Magnien Vosne Romanée Aux Champs Perdrix: Frédéric Magnien, the 5th generation of Magnien winemakers. Burgundy flows through his blood… Complex rich body with delicate refined tannins.

An obsession with lunar-cycles and bio-dynamic methodology has helped Frédéric create phenomenal wine through his negotiant house. Only choosing the best grapes which he has direct involvement with from growers around Burgundy,

#5 2013 Cristom Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir

5. 2013 Cristom Eileen Pinot Noir: Named for the founder’s wife and kissed by the cool coastal breeze. A delicate, layered drop with the scent of warm maternal spices.

This sustainable vineyard has developed a cult following throughout the world.  Blending a Californian approach to wine-making with Oregon’s cool climate to produce wines that no good list can be with out…

Regional Focus; Oregon

The Rebirth Of An Industry Which Proves That Quality Outs Quantity. Whilst Not The Biggest Producer – They Produce A Lot Of The Best!

Situated to the north of California, this state has 5 major wine growing areas, most of which are west of the Cascade Mountain Range which runs parallel to the Pacific coast. This overall area tends to be cool and wet, more similar to France than its counterparts in Washington or California. The soil throughout has a lot of volcanic material due to ancient eruptions in neighbouring Idaho.

The first acknowledged grape plantings in Oregon were in 1847 by Horticulturist Henderson Luelling. However the first recorded winery, Valley View Vineyard, was founded by Peter Brit in the 1850’s (before the state of Oregon existed,) in what would now be part of the Rogue Valley AVA. With increasing settlement in the 1880’s there came initial plantings of Zinfandel, Riesling and a variety of Sauvignons.

However like the rest of the USA all the winemaking in the region was shut down with the rise of prohibition and there was no active winemaking until 1933…

To learn more about this diverse and stunning wine region, click here.

 

Cristom Vineyards very own ‘Jessie’ vineyard is lovingly referred to as ‘the ski slope,’ with it being the steepest planted vineyard in the state.

Situated in Newburg, fog likes to settle over the vines planted over the hillsides of Beaux Frères Vineyard – a misty morning blanket.

2013 Folium Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir

6. 2013 Folium Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir: Famously the home of Ponsonby the goat, which just happens to produce some outstandingly vibrant Pinot Noir. Smoky cherry, gentle tannins and touch of maelo.

Winemaker Takaki Okada lives and breathes his beloved vineyard, living nestled amongst the vines as to provide them with the most detailed and attentive care possible. Implementing an admirable organic philosophy, the vines are not just certified, but thriving. This elegant, striking organic wine really walks the walk.

 

 

Aurum – A Nod To The Old World

Joan and Tony Lawrence planted their first grapes at 45th Parallel Vineyard on the Pisa Flats just 6 km from Cromwell in 1997. Since then they have also developed Te Wairere Vineyard nearby in 2001 and by 2004 their son Brook and daughter-in-law Lucie had join them to work towards making the first vintage in their newly constructed winery as winemakers in 2006.

Joan’s background is in archaeology and she left her career as an archaeological illustrator at Auckland University to work on the vineyards and ultimately run the cellar door. Tony is an orthodontist and loves to be involved in every aspect of the wine business as well as running his orthodontic practice in Queenstown.

Their son Brook, trained as a winemaker in South Australia and after working in Australia, New Zealand and France came back with his wife Lucie in 2004. Brook met his future wife while they were both trainees at Domaine de l’Arlot in Premeaux Prissey in Burgundy. Lucie is a third generation winemaker and trained as an oenologist at Dijon University, working vintages in Burgundy and Alsace. She is Aurum’s principal winemaker while Brook also looks after the viticultural management of the estate. They have two daughters Mathilde and Madeleine and our reserve wines are named for them.

The word Aurum is the Latin for gold. Literally translated it means “shining dawn”. Aurum’s vineyard is adjacent to old 19th and early 20th century gold workings and one of the first owners of the property in the 1880s was a Chinese gold miner called Ah Que.

Organic Vines at Aurum in Cromwell

The Pisa Ranges above Aurum Vineyard

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