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MINERALITY, TERROIR, AND ORGANIC FARMING AT GUILLOT-BROUX


Organically farmed since 1954, Domaine Guillot-Broux lays claim to being a leader of the movement in Burgundy. Winemaker Emmanuel Guillot has spent his entire career making wines from organic grapes and promoting the method in Burgundy.


Wine lovers often speak of terroir and minerality, but the topic can be difficult to understand. Manu feels it takes 15 to 20 years of growth before he tastes any particular note from a single vineyard. He explains this in the video below.




Emmanuel Guillot on old vines:

"The concept of old vines and the notion of terroir are deeply intertwined, especially in regions with rich winemaking traditions. At our domaine, for instance, out of 17 hectares, we've replanted 15 within the last 30 years. These lands were essentially neglected after the phylloxera epidemic, becoming almost forest-like. Reclaiming and replanting these vineyards was essential for our production.


The essence of terroir is the relationship between the vine and the soil it's planted in. According to experts, like the renowned pedologist Yves Herody, vines have the capability to mineralize the bedrock, producing distinct aromas in the wine. However, this characteristic can take a considerable amount of time to manifest, anywhere from 5 to 20 years, depending on the specific nature of the soil.


At our domaine, we've experienced this firsthand. Our Mâcon-Villages wine and our Les Perrières cuvée offer an illustrative example. For the Les Perrières vineyard, we waited 15 years before incorporating the grapes from the younger vines into the blend. Blind tastings during this period showcased that, while young vines can produce wines with similar acidity and alcohol content as their older counterparts, they lack the same degree of minerality and expression of terroir. Moreover, wines from younger vines might not age as gracefully as those from older vines.


In essence, there's an adaptation period during which the vine truly syncs with its soil, allowing the wine to fully express its terroir. This connection, developed over time, underscores the significance of old vines in winemaking."

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