In May 2012, Vincent Girardin sold his business to Jean-Pierre Nié, the owner of Compagnie des Vins d’Autrefois in Beaune. Jean-Pierre, very sensibly, took the decision not only to retain Eric Germain (head winemaker) and Marco Caschera (sales and exports) but to make them substantial shareholders in the business.
As far as we are concerned, nothing has changed. They continue to work with the highest quality raw materials and Eric Germain continues to make the wines, as he has done for over fifteen years. Indeed, now that Eric is entirely free from other constraints, we have noticed the wines’ gain in precision over the last few vintages! There is no bâtonnage and extended maturation in barrel, giving the white wines greater tension, elegance, energy and purity. In Christophe Marrin, they now, also, have a specialist red winemaker who will work under Eric. We are already seeing finer, more elegant red wines as a result.
The Bourgogne Blanc “Terroir Noble” comes from vines all situated in the communes of Puligny, Chassagne and Meursault. The Bourgogne Rouge “Terroir Noble” is exclusively from old vines around Volnay and Pommard. Both are excellent.
This is a small to medium sized negociant business of the highest quality. They have contracts to buy fruit from 85 hectares (55 of which are controlled and harvested entirely by the Girardin team) and have 13 hectares in ownership or fermage. They will continue to make further investments in their own vines and have recently made acquisitions in Volnay, Puligny, Meursault, Pommard and Auxey-Duresses. They are far smaller than is often imagined – making between 28,000 and 50,000 dozen per year, depending on the vintage. Their wines remain absolutely delicious, accessible, examples which speak, clearly, of their individual terroirs.