Château de Meursault

History of Château de Meursault The origins of Château de Meursault go back to the days when it was known as the fiefdom of « Moulin Foulot ». The estate was granted to one of his squires by Robert I, the Captain Duke of Burgundy (1032-1070). In the early 19th century, the property was expanded by the Serre family who carried out important architectural changes as well as developing the wine-growing domain. Nowadays, the tastefully restored Château de Meursault is one of Burgundy’s most beautiful and extensive domains.

The Vineyards The 60 hectares Domaine du Château de Meursault owns parcels of land in the villages of Aloxe-Corton, Savigny-les-Beaune, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet all situated on the Côte de Beaune. Because of the typical splitting-up of Burgundy’s vineyards, these 60 hectares consist of more than 100 different parcels of vines located within an average distance of 10 km from the Château. The smallest of these is approximately 10 ares (119.6 sq.yards), the largest 8 hectares and the most distant is 20 km away.

The vineyard is planted in Pinot Noir (red wines) and Chardonnay (white wines). These are the only two varietals which have made the reputation of Burgundy’s great wines. The vineyards are managed according to each type of “terroir” or specific growing conditions and nearly all are organically grown. Chemical fertilizers have not been used for the last 15 years. Ninety-five percent of the surface is worked in winter by “sous-solage” (breaking the soil to a depth of 30 to 60 cm by means of a blade but without turning it over). Spring and summer ploughings are practiced 6 or 7 times.

The soil and sub-soil, rather than being tamped down, remain light, naturally irrigated and alive. The domain’s vines are situated in the best vineyards and 1er cur parcels of Puligny Champ Canet, Meursault Charmes, Perrières, Grands Charrons, Volnay Clos des Chênes, Pommard Clos des Epenots, Beaune Cent-Vignes, Grèves, Savigny les Peuillets, Aloxe-Corton and Grand Cru Corton. In the vineyard area of Meursault, the two terroirs of “Charmes” and “Perrières” with their specific soil composition, characteristic sub-soil, exposition and favorable micro-climate combine their essential elements to create the unique and extraordinarily original Château de Meursault 1er Cru. “Charmes” is supple, fleshy and mouth-filling while “Perrières” is dry and “flinty”. And yet these two parcels lie only a few meters apart. The walled-in parcel to the east of the Château forms the “Clos du Château de Meursault”. Used as the château’s park for two centuries, it was returned to its original estate in 1975 when Chardonnay was planted here. It produces an excellent white wine, Clos du Château.

The Winemaking In a modern vatting room, the oenologist and cellar master have perfect control over the winemaking process thanks to an ingenious system using gravity, thus avoiding pumping which “tires” the wine. Vinification of Chardonnay The bunches of hand-picked grapes are pressed whole. The juice (must) undergoes a 24 hour decanting to obtain only the clear liquid. The AOC villages and 1er Crus ferment in new or 1 or 2 years old barrel while the AOC Bourgognes ferment in stainless steel. The fermentation lasts from 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the appellation and type of wine Vilification of Pinot Noir Also hand-picked, each grape is then, sorted and the rotten or unripe berries rejected.

After destemming, the skin and pulp mixture is vatted for 4 or 5 days of cols maceration (12°C). The Pinot Noir’s white juice must macerate with the skins to obtain red color. The fermentation is activated by the yeasts present on the grapes. After 2 weeks of being exposed to temperatures close to 30°C and strong emissions of CO2, the red juice, by now wine, is run off, the skins pressed and the two juices blended in oak barrels. Following this, the 1000 “pieces” barrels) holding 30 or so different vattings begin their traditional ageing in the vaulted cellars. This ageing period (12 to 18 months) of each vatting is carefully controlled by the manager, cellar master and sommelier through frequent tastings.

After a few rackings and a light filtering, they decide which vattings are ready to be bottled. The bottles, designed exclusively for the Château de Meursault, are sealed with corks bearing the stamp of the vintage and appellation. They are then laid in the dim cellars where they begin their final ageing. Oenotourisme The Château de Meursault offers you its wine cellars together with the fabulous and warm site of the ancient cuverie of the Château (500m2), a hall with atmosphere in which to organize prestige receptions, lunches, candle-light dinners (100 to 300 people). The before dinner aperitifs are served in the Orangerie or in the park of the Château. A circuit tour in the cellars allows you to accede to the reception hall.