Domaine René Bourgeon was founded in 1969 in the commune of Jambles, a small appellation in the Cote Challonaise sub-region of Burgundy. In the 1980’s, René decided to work towards the larger Givry appellation, famously recognised as King Henri IV’s favourite style of wine during his rule in the 15th and 16th centuries. Despite the majority of wines in Givry being produced from Pinot Noir to make red wines, Domaine René Bourgeon also produces a lesser-known, but equally delicious, white wine from Chardonnay.
Having a sustainable approach to viticulture is key for Domaine Bourgeon, by working the chalk and clay soils only two to three times a year. This minimal intervention philosophy lessens the chance of compaction and encourages biodiversity, one of the many methods which helps return a natural balance to the soil.
All of the red wines produced, be they village level or Premier Cru, are treated the same way, ensuring consistency of style and quality in their wines. Before a natural fermentation from indigenous yeasts begins, the crushed grapes are exposed to a cold maceration for six to twelve days to enhance colour and flavour without over-extracting tannin. Fermentation usually lasts between two to three weeks after which time malolactic conversion takes place naturally. The wines are then racked from tank to barrel to mature for 18 months in a mixture of foudres and new oak barrels to soften and round out the tannins. The wines from Premier Cru sites, such as Close de la Baraude and En Choué, see a heightened level of new oak to create a smoother, richer mouthfeel, before being bottled on site.
With only 45,000 bottles produced every year, René Bourgeon is a boutique domaine who produce each wine from vineyard to winery to glass. These wines are incredibly terroir-driven, with real character and typicity of the region, a style that René’s son, Jean-François, has upheld since returning to the family business in 1992.