Maxime Dubuet-Boillot at Domaine Dubuet-Boillot in Volnay.

etting to know your vineyards is a long process. Maxime Dubuet-Boillot in Volnay is well aware of this. He is the new boy in the village, a village where new domaines are few and far between.

– My grandfather, Pierre Boillot, used to say it takes ten years to get to know a vineyard, he explains. The people I work with all agree on that. That’s what it takes to understand the terroir, to know how best treat each plot.

Domaine Maxime Dubuet-Boillot is a recent addition to the village. Maxime Dubuet-Boillot comes from a family of winegrowers, but initially he chose a different career. He started out in the world of auto racing, working as a mechanic for ten years.

Volnay, Sur-Roches.– I left the racing world when I got the chance to return to my roots, he explains. My grandfather passed away in 2014. Most of the family vineyards has been taken care of by my uncle. I had the chance to take on some of the family vineyards as well as some others I found around here. I created something of my own, something with its own identity. By doing that I don’t have to take into account what previous generations have done. Today I have five hectares of vineyards.

Maxime Dubuet-Boillot works closely with his uncle at Domaine Philippe Boillot, which is just next door. They run their separate domaines, but help each other whenever it is needed. From his five hectares he produces 14 different, mainly red, cuvées.

Volnay, Burgundy.– I began vinify myself in 2016. My first cuvée was the Volnay Sur-Roches. Since then it has become my signature cuvée. It has a sentimental value for me, because when my grandfather created his domaine that was where he started.

You’ll find Sur-Roches just behind the village, at the top of the Volnay slope. Immediately below you have the premier cru Pitures Dessus. For Maxime Dubuet-Boillot this is the prefect place to produce a village appellation Volnay which is aromatic and elegant. The soil is quite well-drained and produces a wine with focus on minerality.

Maxime Dubuet-Boillot at Domaine Dubuet-Boillot in Volnay.– If I were to introduce myself as a winemaker with a single wine, it would definitely be Volnay Sur-Roches. In 2016 my domaine was very small, but I continued building a portfolio around Volnay Sur-Roches. I took on Volnay premier cru Carelle sous la Chapelle and Monthelie premier cru Les Riottes in order to diversify what I had to offer. They were vineyards that belonged to my family.

Initially, as he didin’t have many vineyards himself, he bought grapes from others. Up until 2019 his annual output was very modest, just 6500 bottles.

– Since the 2020 vintage I have been able to increase production to between 15 000 and 20 000 bottles. This is thanks to the vineyards I have taken on, like Beaune, Les Prévoles, the old vines village Pommard and the Pommard premier cru Les Chanlins-Bas.

Volnay, Burgundy.The years in the world of auto racing is something he cherishes. It was an experience which gave him the chance to create something of his own. It was an experience which taught him a lot about the quality of your work, that you need to be selfless in order to achieve better results. You need to take one step back and not be attentive to your own needs.

– I learnt a lot, he says. I was test driver for the Citroën Junior Team when Sébastien Ogier was starting to show results with the DS3 and I worked for Kimi Räikkönen. I have always enjoyed being surrounded by passionate people. In that sense the world of racing and the world of wine are not very different. I have met very passionate people in both worlds. Cars remind you of your childhood. For some it’s as powerful as Proust’s madeleine cakes. It’s the same with wine. When I produce a cuvée or open a bottle at home I want the wine to tell me something, I want it to create an emotion.

Volnay, Burgundy.Before setting up his own domaine Maxime Dubuet-Boillot worked for Gilles Remoriquet in Nuits-Saint-Georges, who he describes as an excellent teacher.

– I like the pinot noirs of the Côte de Nuits, he says. They are ripe, more concentrated and sometimes with more of a black fruits character. I wanted to learn more about them.

Volnay, Burgundy.Maxime Dubuet-Boillot produces two different red regional level Bourgognes. One Bourgogne Côte d’Or, from vines at the bottom of Volnay, and one Bourgogne from La Grande Carelle in Pommard, which is just below the chateau.

– Already at this level you notice the difference between Pommard and Volnay. The Bourgogne from the Pommard side shows more of power, structure and full body, whereas the Bourgogne from the Volnay side is more delicate with more focus on fruit, but less body and much less structure. I find this very interesting and that is why I make two different cuvées.

Domaine Dubuet-Boillot produces old vine cuvées of both village appellation Pommard – 55 years – and village appellation Volnay - 60-65 years. Both are blends of two parcels. The Volnay comes from Les Combes and Les Grands Champs.

Pommard, Burgundy.– The two parcels are close to each other, but still different. In Les Combes you are in a hollow, you are at the lowest point of Volnay. It is very well drained. I have never vinified it by itself, but it seems to produce a wine with more body.

The Pommard comes from Les Lambots, which is at the top of the slope and next to Volnay Sur-Roches, and Le Poisot at the bottom of the slope.

– Le Poisot produces grapes which in general are more tannic. In order to have the same maturity I usually wait three days before I harvest Les Lambots.

Volnay premier cru Les Pitures is below Sur-Roches, above Volnay premier cru Frémiets and next to Pommard premier cru Les Chanlins-Bas, which is also represented at the domaine.

– If you compare Les Pitures with Carelle sous la Chapelle, which is my other Volnay premier cru, you notice that already on the nose it is a bit more masculine. It is still a Volnay in terms of aromas and elegance.

– Then you have the Pommard premier cru Les Chanlins-Bas. It’s a lesser known terroir, but it has loads of power. And I love it. It’s right next to Rugiens. It’s very much Pommard. Power and black fruit. Richness and amplitude.

© 2023 Ola Bergman