he village of Remigny is an oddity in Burgundy. It does not have an appellation of its own. It is not located in the Côte d'Or. It is in the Saône et Loire departement. Still, you'll find parts of both the Chassagne-Montrachet and the Santenay appellations here.
– We are only four winegrowers in the village, says Pascal Borgeot at Domaine Borgeot. In our case it was our great-grandfather who created the domaine. Back then it was only five or six hectares of vines, but he was farming other crops as well. Today we have 20 hectares of vines.
Remigny is a village of 420 inhabitants, four kilometres south of Chassagne-Montrachet and three kilometres east of Santenay. The Canal du Centre cuts through the village and just south of the village is the top of the Côte Chalonnaise, with Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey, Givry and Montagny.
Pascal Borgeot and his brother Laurent have been running Domaine Borgeot for quite some time now.
– I arrived at the domaine on July 1 back in 1977. Wow, it's getting close to 40 years, smiles Pascal Borgeot.
Their great-grandfather, Monsieur Diconne, had a daughter, but the domaine skipped a generation as it was the father of the Borgeot brothers who succeeded him. So depending on how you see it, Domaine Borgeot has dates back three or four generations.
– Our great-grandfather was injured during the war. If you look at the war memorial in the village you'll find 26 or 28 names. For a small wine-producing village like Remigny it is a disaster to lose that many. Those were difficult times. You had the phylloxera, which was followed by the First World War and a decline in the economy.
The Borgeot brothers have been buying more land, but they have also been selling off some of their holdings in the regional appellations.
– It used to be one third white and two thirds red at the domaine, says Pascal Borgeot. Today it is fifty-fifty. We have more vines in Chassagne-Montrachet and Santenay now. We have much less Bourgogne Aligoté and the Bourgogne Passetoutgrains has disappeared completely. There are no gamay vines left at the domaine. We only have chardonnay, pinot noir and aligoté. The aligoté vines are both in the Bourgogne Aligoté appellation and the Bouzeron appellation.
Bouzeron, the northernmost village on the Côte Chalonnaise, is the place for the only village appellation in Burgundy for the aligoté grape. The regional Bourgogne Aligoté appellation covers 1697 hectares, whereas the Bouzeron appellation is considerably smaller, only 51,44 hectares. Domaine Borgeot produces a Bouzeron from the Les Tournelles climat, in the northeastern corner of the appellation, where they have one hectare and a half.
– I supported the creation of this appellation, but the aligoté has been there for a very long time. I like the Bouzeron a lot. It's different. It is a beautiful aligoté. We produce about 5000 bottles a year. It's easier to sell Bouzeron than Maranges, says Pascal Borgeot.
– There are only three or four producers in the village of Bouzeron. You have very good domaines like de Villaine and Chanzy. Outside the village you have ones like Domaine Briday and Domaine Jacqueson in Rully.
In Santenay most of the vines of the domaine are north of the village, on the Chassagne-Montrachet side. In addition to some village appellation Santenay, both red and white, Domaine Borgeot also produces three premier cru Santenays – Les Gravières, La Comme and Beauregard. Les Gravières is just above the Santenay–Chassagne road. La Comme and Beauregard are higher up on the slope, on slightly steeper land. Les Gravières comes in both red and white, the other two in just red.
– Below Les Gravières we have a parcel of old vines covering one hectare and a half, says Pascal Borgeot. Part of it was planted by my great-grandfather.
– In the vineyards we practice lutte raisonnée. We have not embraced organic wine-growing, because it can be very complicated. But we stopped the heavy treatments a long time ago. We plough the vineyards. We try to respect nature as much as possible. To work five hectares organically is OK, but with 20 hectares it is very difficult.
Chassagne-Montrachet is well represented at Domaine Borgeot, in both colours. In white there are the premier crus Morgeot, Embrazée and Les Chenevottes. In red there is Clos de la Boudriotte. Clos St Jean, a premier cru at the top of the village, produces both white and red.
– Clos St Jean is a super terroir for red, muses Pascal Borgeot. It has two parts. The upper part and the lower part down by the church called Les Rebichets.
Most of the grapes at Domaine Borgeot come from their own vineyards, but some are bought from other producers.
– We buy from friends. For instance, my sister-in-law has two and a half hectares of vines, says Pascal Borgeot. From there we get the Puligny-Montrachet wines - Vieilles Vignes, Les Charmes and the premier cru Les Champs Gain. She used to have some Maranges, but she sold the parcel. Maranges wine is very tough to sell. You are better off selling it as Côte de Beaune, just because it mentions Beaune.
Laurent and Pascal Borgeot spent the years from 2007 to 2009 modernising their facilities. A new climate controlled cuverie, two pneumatic presses and storage space for 60 000 bottles.
– We built the whole thing from scratch. For the reds, all the steps of the vinification process can now be done in the same place.
© 2012 Ola Bergman