hree kilometres southeast of Beaune the Autun road leads us to the village that takes its name from an ancient temple dedicated to Pomona, the goddess of fruits and gardens. Pommard is a village of 600 inhabitants. The village square holds a couple of restaurants and a wine shop, as well as a few vignerons' houses. At the southeast end the road to Volnay passes. The wine shop is run by a number of the local growers and is a great place if you are looking for good Pommard. Madame who is in charge here is very service-minded. If she doesn't have what you are looking for in store she will make sure to have it the following day. Her recommendations have never disappointed me and she has always been able to supply me with Aleth Girardin's lovely Pommards.
The Café du Pont just on top of where the small river/stream Dheune comes out from under the village square is always a nice place, whether you stop by for a simple lunch or spend a couple of lazy hours drinking coffee or eating ice cream out on their terrace.
Pommard is a red only commune. 60 vignerons live in the village, but the total number of producers making Pommard is around 300.
There are 28 premier crus, as well as village wine, but no grand crus.
For some time there have been efforts made to have Les Rugiens and Les Epenots upgraded to grand cru status, but this far without success.
– That's right, says Anne Parent at Domaine Parent in Pommard. It will take perhaps few years because it needs soils analysis, tasting, organoleptic terms, etc.... But the fact is that these two climats were classified as grand cru at the origin of the classification in 1936, but the winegrowers at this time refused this classification because they were afraid of the lower average production and the taxes!!! So it will be fair for Pommard to have some grand cru back in our appellations and because it is true that Pommard can have some great wines at the same level as some grand cru from Côte de Nuits!
Eudes I, who was Duke of Burgundy 1032–1076, had a chateau built here at the end of the 11th century. Towards the end of the 14th century, under the Valois Dukes of Burgundy, the chateau was not looked after and decay set in. In the 16th century only ruins were left.
In 1726 Vivant Micault, secretary to the king, began building another chateau in Pommard – Château Micault. Four years later the chateau was ready and in 1736 it was sold to Claude Marey in Nuits, who in his turn left to his son. Fearing what might be the outcome of the disturbances in 1789, the year of the French Revolution, Nicolas Joseph Marey sold the chateau but kept the vines (including the 20 hectares of village appellation Pommard known as Clos du Château de Pommard), the winery and the cellars. In 1795, Nicolas Joseph Marey married Emilie Monge, daughter of the physicist Gaspard Monge, and in 1802 he tried to buy back the chateau, but without any success. Instead he built a new chateau in the middle of the vines – Château de Pommard.
In 1936 the Château de Pommard was acquired by the Laplanche family. 30 years later Jean-Louis Laplanche, professor of Psychology at the Sorbonne, and his wife Nadine bought Château Micault, reuniting the two properties. The Clos du Château de Pommard itself is the largest clos in single ownership in Burgundy.
On premier cru level there are three monopoles in Pommard – Clos de Derrière Saint-Jean, Clos des Boucherottes and Clos de la Commaraine. While the first two are owned by Domaine Violot-Guillemard and Domaine Coste-Caumartin respectively Clos de la Commaraine is a peculiarity in true Burgundian spirit. It still belongs to the Jaboulet Vercherre family, even though the company of the same name has ceased to exist. For some years Maison Louis Jadot bottled the whole harvest from this premier cru, but since 2003 the grapes are plit 50-50 with Maison Pierre André in Aloxe-Corton. And since there is technically only one owner both bottlings are entitled to use the word Monopole on the label.
The old postcard above shows the Café du Pont and Rue des Marronniers at the beginning of the 20th century.
© 2013 Ola Bergman