Fruit Of The Earth
WINE&DINE|November - December 2020
One of the oldest organic wine domaines in Burgundy, Clos des Vignes du Maynes has always been farmed with the greatest respect for the earth and the current third-generation vigneron, Julien Guillot, is a leading light of biodynamic winemaking in the region.
Joyce Huang

Holy, Pure, And Natural. Our family domaine, Clos des Vignes du Maynes, is in one of the lesser known areas of Burgundy, Mâconnais. It has long been considered as the small brother of Cote de Nuits. Our estate’s history dates back to 910, the year Cluny Abbey was founded by the Duke of Aquitaine. Clos des Vignes du Maynes was first recorded on cadastral maps by Burgundian monks; “Maynes” is an old French word for “monk”. Throughout its history, no chemicals were used within the estate. Even after my grandparents bought the domaine in 1952 and when most people were using chemicals in their agriculture to increase yield, my grandfather decided not to use chemicals, herbicides, or pesticides in the vineyard, or add sulphites and sugar in the wines. He just wanted to make pure, natural wines, and he was one of the first people in France with this thinking.

THE FATHERS OF ORGANIC FARMING. Looking at the notes of my grandfather, even in the 50s, he was talking about the same concerns as today: the risk to the consumers, the quality of the soil and waters, and the life of the vines and grapes with the usage of chemicals. More than 60 years after, we are still talking about the same thing. Our domaine and wine are proof that it is possible to produce quality without chemicals because we have been organic since the 1 1th century. When my grandfather started talking about organic production in the 50s, there were no rules. My father Alain Guillot took over the estate and furthered my grandfather’s philosophy by setting up the French national federation of organic agriculture. As its President, my father was responsible for getting the AB (agriculture biologique) organic logo and standards recognised by then Minister of Agriculture, Philippe Vasseur.

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