Located in the commune of Quintaine, between the villages of Viré and Clessé, Domaine Guillemot-Michel farm 6.5 ha across 5 lieux-dits, with the oldest vines dating back to 1918. The domain has been run by Pierrette Michel and her husband Marc since 1985, and since 2012, they have been joined by daughter Sophie and her husband, Gautier.
On taking over the estate in '85, Pierrette and Marc converted the vineyard to organic viticulture, but for them both, it did not feel like a big enough step. They heard about a group interested in biodynamics, went along to a meeting and were immediately convinced to try this alternative form of viticulture . Certified biodynamic since 1997, firstly with Demeter, and more recently with Biodyvin, they are a true trailblazer in the region. Their incredible attention to detail and dedication to farming in the absolute best way possible means that a total of 8 people are employed in the vineyard - something that many other producers would handle with just one or two. As commented by William Kelley of the Wine Advocate "anyone visiting the domaine can't fail to be struck by the meticulousness that the Guillemot family bring to all their endeavors—whether it's their vegetable garden, their immaculately restored farmhouse-winery or their wines."
The soils here, like the vast majority of Burgundy, is on Jurassic limestone subsoil, but the Quintaine terroir has an atypical character, in part due to its proximity to the Saone river, and that there is a great number of summer storms here. These storms help accelerate the decarbonisation of limestone into silt and the consequences on the physiology of the vine and the style of the wines include:
- the addition of water during the summer contributes to a better natural acidity of the wines.
- the low rate of active limestone favors the establishment of the vine and modifies the structure of the wines.
- the silts host a unique microbiota which participates in the fermentation and therefore in the aroma of our wines, as all wines are vinified with native yeasts.
As commented by Jasper Morris MW of Inside Burgundy, there are very few other white Burgundys that age as well as these, from the Maconnais above all. In a recent report following a tasting of 30 vintages of 'Quintaine', he reported that the 1999 and 2001 still taste very young! Now that got our hearts beating even faster....
"The Guillemots harvest ripe grapes, fermenting and maturing the wines on the lees at their own pace. Botrytis, a relatively common occurrence due to Quintaine's humid mesoclimate, is embraced. These are honeyed, concentrated wines that are imbued with remarkable concentration and energy and develop beautifully in the cellar." William Kelley, The Wine Advocate