Bouchard Père & Fils
Bouchard Père & Fils is one of the oldest estates in the wine region of Burgundy. It was established over three centuries ago and has seen nine generations of Bouchards.
The estate owns 450 vineyards across Burgundy, but has its main epicentre around the village of Beaune, in the Côte d’Or.
The legacy of the Bouchard family in Côte de Beaune started in 1731, when Michel founded the domain. In 1775, Joseph’s purchase of the first vineyard in Volnay represented the first of many development and expansion steps.
During the French Revolution, when lands were taken away from the church and nobility, were seen as an opportunity for Joseph’s son Antoine Philibert to consolidate the family’s possessions around Beaune. In the following years, across the 18th and 19th century, a policy of acquisition made Bouchard Père & Fils the biggest estate in the whole Côte d’Or.
In 1820, Bernard purchased the iconic Château de Beaune. An ex royal fortress, the family used the property to create underground cellars, up to 10 meters deep, where the wine could develop and age in ideal natural storage conditions. These days, the cellars also host a collection of 2,000 bottles from the 19th century.
In 1995, the domain was acquired by the Henriot family and went through a process of modernisation. A milestone of this period of renovation was the opening of a new high-tech winery in Savigny-lès-Beaune in 2005.
Bouchard Père & Fils still remains anchored to tradition to this day, modernising and evolving, yet respecting the beauty and timelessness of its environment.
The Bouchard Père & Fils estate is the biggest in the region and accounts for about 130 hectares of vines, 12 of which are Grand Crus and 74 Premier Crus. Bouchard Père & Fils also own 4 monopolies, vineyards controlled by one estate only.
The estate produces around 150 different Burgundy wines and employs 150 people.
In 2016, Bouchard Père & Fils produced roughly 600,000 bottles of wine. The sales for that year brought 31 million Euros to the estate from 3 million bottles.
Export represents a little over 55% of the total sales, with Canada, United States, Japan and the United Kingdom being the most prominent countries outside of the French market.
The estate is an enormous mosaic of 450 different vineyards, spread over 48 kilometres from north to south, around the village of Beaune. This configuration prevents the localisation of weather hazards such as hail, storm or frost, reducing the risks significantly.
The main grapes cultivated by Bouchard Père & Fils are Pinot Noir, accounting for a 60%, and Chardonnay, which makes up almost all the remaining production.
Frédéric Weber, the cellar master, carries on a policy of sustainable viticulture according to the estate pluriannual tradition. Decisions on the vineyards are taken on a day-by-day basis, sometimes simply tasting the grapes in order to adapt vilification to the many different “terroirs” across the estate, helping the wines reach their full potential.
Harvesting is done by hand, at the optimal date for each vineyards, a process identified by the taking samples over a period of a few weeks. The crates are small, limited to 13 kg capacity to avoid grapes to crush and grape pickers of 250 are split into no more than 6 teams. The grapes get from the vineyard to the winery in less than one hour, directed immediately to the sorting table.
In the high-tech St Vincent winery in Savigny-lès-Beaune, a 5 meter underground vinification vat room allows the grapes to be transferred into 138 maceration tanks by the simple use of gravity. Over 100 different wines are vinified there and then matured in an oak barrel, 4,000 of which are housed in a large cellar.
The rest of the wines go through the vinification process at the Château de Beaune. This barrel cellar is 10 metres underground, providing ideal conditions of ventilation and humidity for the wines to reach full maturation.
With over 150 different wines across 450 different plots, it would be audacious to pin point a single style from Bouchard Père & Fils. The estate perfectly represents Beaune tradition, with whites made from Chardonnay highlighting vivacity, richness and body. Notes of honey, hazelnut and vanilla are also not uncommon.
The reds, mainly from Pinot Noir, show subtle red fruit notes with a firm and flavourful texture and the right level of acidity.
The Beauty & The Taste has selected for you a 2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils Les Perrieres, Meursault Premier Cru.