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Domaine du Chateau de Puligny Montrachet
Domaine du Chateau de Puligny Montrachet

France, Burgundy

Established 2001

The domaine was previously owned by the “phantasmagoric, poet-vigneron” Roland Thévenin but was sold to a bank, five years later (1989) the first bank was acquired by another bank – Credit Foncier – this is really when our history starts.Bank number two was the catalyst for a much more ‘business oriented’ approach to managing the 20 hectare estate. Some restructuring of the vineyards was done, the Château was updated and the outbuildings converted for bank training courses – so not tasting rooms after-all! Finally the ‘space-age’ cuverie was built. If we hark back to around 1990, science and process technology were in the ascendancy, hence, a cuverie was constructed – all above ground – which used big pumps that pushed the grapes (now turned into a grape-soup) into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, eventually finding their way into the fully air-conditioned barrel cellar. Of course wine-making is as much an art as a business and the business requirements for high (full plc) yields and no disease, together with upfront, oaky wines produced little market interest. At the time that Etienne was looking for some changes in his life and, perhaps, a return to the Côte, the bank was looking for a new start for the domaine – after-all you can only give so much wine away as presents for clients! For two important reasons, Etienne was the perfect choice to take over in Puligny; first he knew about Banks, second he knew about grapes! Actually there is also a track record in Puligny too, Domaine Hubert de Montille have also been producing since the 1980’s a wine from a choice part of the 1er Cru Le Cailleret – 1997 tasted in this issue.