“Ponsot,” the leading winemaker in Bourgogne
The mother of Pinot Noir in the world
The charm of Bourgogne wines lies in their varieties of flavors that differ according to the terroirs of vineyards as well as the characteristics of the winemakers. Each village have well-known winemaker and there are many of them are considered charismatic.
The giant among the winemakers in Morey-St-Denis is Ponsot. The domaine is the pioneer in practicing grape growing without using antioxidant, enabling them to make wine with soft and pure fruity flavor, which is loved by many of highly knowledgeable wine lovers. Founded in the 1800’s, “Ponsot” continues to be the innovative domaine in Bourgogne. In the early age, it was common for the winemakers to sell wine by the barrel in Bourgogne and there were many negociants who sold those wines while falsely advertising their production areas. But since its foundation, “Ponsot” started shipping out estate-bottled wines in order to prevent such false advertisement. With their high-quality wines, they contributed to increase the reputation of Morey-St-Denis. They also put their effort to the maintenance of the vineyard: they successfully gave birth to high-quality grapevine saplings through the process called Selection Massale, in which they choose exceptional grapevines and cut saplings from them to be planted in the same vineyard; by doing so they increased the number of grapevines. According to Mr. Laurent Ponsot, former winemaker at the domaine, the sapling called “Dijon Clone,” which is said to be the base for 80% of Pinot Noir in the world today, was born in the vineyard of “Ponsot.”
Also, “Ponsot” is quite fascinating for their approach to the natural winemaking that is different from both biological and biodynamic winemaking. They try not to intervene with human hands in the grape growing and winemaking: for harvesting, they sort the fruits at the vineyard so that the decayed grapes will not be mixed. Such thorough and careful process help to make their wine that is exceptionally elegant.
Drinking Pinot Noir while thinking of such achievements by Ponsot will surely add another flavor to the wine drinking experience.
(Mr. Laurent Ponsot has since left ‘Domaine Ponsot’ and is now the head of ”Domaine Laurent Ponsot”.)
(Text: Kimiko Anzai)
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