The top Domaines of Burgundy understand that the land is the most important thing. In 2015 Burgundy’s unique terroirs were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the worldwide demand for the wines is as high as it has ever been because the wines are as great as they have ever been, and the reason for that is the growers of Burgundy respect the land and farm it well.
It is hard to imagine, but this was not always the case. Burgundy’s unique soils and microclimates were nearly destroyed by the use of agrochemicals and synthetic fertilizers. The growers of the 60s and 70s sought ever higher yields, and eventually quality suffered as the soil was stripped of its natural life.
At Domaine Clos de la Chapelle we strive to keep the soil healthy so the grapes are healthy, so we farm by organic principles, and have been certified as such. Disease prevention is key, and we use only natural preparations of sulfur and judicious applications of copper sulfate to prevent vine diseases and fungal infections from damaging the crop.
We’ve noticed the positive effects of organic farming in particular in one of our newer vineyard acquisitions – Beaune 1er Cru Les Reversées. Beaune is best known as a source of red wines. Most of Beaune’s vineyards lack the limestone where Chardonnay grows best, and Les Reversées is planted almost entirely to Pinot Noir; except for Domaine Clos de la Chapelle’s tiny sliver that is planted to Chardonnay.
Beaune can produce exceptional white wines in the right hands, and though we have only worked the land for several vintages, working organically here has lower the wines pH, giving it the briskness and sense of minerality that makes Burgundy compelling!