From November this year, DRC will lease a seven-acre parcel of Corton-Charlemagne from Domaine Bonneau du Martray, with the view to producing its first harvest in 2019. According to Bonneau du Martray manager Armand de Maigret, the estate had been seeking a partner to farm a portion of its 27-acre land on the hill of Corton to allow it to focus more keenly on a smaller area.
The two estates are committed to biodynamic principles, making the partnership a naturally harmonious match. Speaking to Wine Spectator, Maigret said: "Biodynamics is labour intensive and must be precise to function. The reaction time window is short.
"When biodynamics works, it is beautiful, but you can't allow difficult weather to take over. And 27 acres of precise biodynamic farming is a big task in an area like Corton-Charlemagne. The reduction of our surface to a level where we are comfortable and able to do very precise biodynamic farming with the current infrastructure in place makes sense."
He added that he hadn’t considered a partnership with anyone else, and that “having the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti in the appellation is actually very good for Corton-Charlemagne”.
DRC’s co-director, Aubert de Villaine, said that the partnership “confirms our presence on this great site”, following a similar lease in 2008 with Domaine Prince Florent de Merode, which allowed it to produce a Corton from the Bressandes, Renardes and Clos du Roi areas.
The new wine will only be DRC’s second white – it already makes a Chardonnay from Montrachet – but Villaine says that DRC is enthusiastic about its new addition. "To make a great Corton-Charlemagne is a challenge that we are happy to undertake."