Axelle Machard de Gramont took over the family domaine from her father in 2004. Since then, the quality of the wines and the reputation of the domaine have increased exponentially from year to year. Axelle was not originally planning to be a winemaker, and so she is influenced by her experience growing up in Burgundy, but also from fifteen years living in Paris, where she was exposed to the burgeoning natural wine movement. This time away gave her the rare perspective of both an insider and an outsider in Burgundy. Since returning to the Cote d’Or, Axelle has fully and completely embraced the life of the vigneronne, learning each of her vineyards by heart, and dedicated herself to making exceptional Burgundy. She has converted all 6 hectares of the domaine to organic viticulture, has reduced the amount of new barrique, and is taking a minimal intervention approach in the cellar. The result are wines with softer, elegant structure that retain the rich fruit of the best Pinot Noir from the Côte de Nuits.
The domaine is composed of several village vineyards in Nuits-Saint-George — including the 80 year old vines in Aux Allots near the border with Vosne-Romanée, and Les Terrasses des Vallerots, which Axelle’s father Bertrand reterraced and planted in 2001 on a plot that had been abandoned since the late 1800s. In addition, there is a tiny vineyard of Aligoté hidden next to the ruins of the Abbaye Saint-Vivant, a beautifully scenic spot off the beaten path.
The Aligoté comes from vines in the Hautes Côtes de Nuits (near the cuverie and the Abbey of Saint-Vivant on the Coline de Vergey). Grapes are hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed, then left to settle for one day. Half of the juice goes in second hand barrels, the other half in a stainless tank for fermentation and aging. After one year, the wine from barrels are racked and blended with the tank wine. The is bottled without fining or filtration.
Bourgogne Rouge “Les Grands Chaillots”
The vines for this cuveé come from the commune of Nuits – on the eastern side of the D974, opposite of Les Poirets. The grapes are 100% destemmed and fermented in large wooden vats. The wine is aged in 228L Burgundy barrels - of which most are used - for 18-20 months. It is bottled without fining or filtration.
Nuits-St.-Georges “Aux Allots”
Organic. From a lieu dit (situated directly below Chaignots) comprised of 80 year-old vines, located at the bottom of the slope, near Vosne-Romanée. The soil is relatively deep clay with limestone. Hand-harvested and destemmed/crushed. Slow native yeast fermentation at cool temperatures in large neutral oak casks with traditional foot-treading, minimal pumpovers, and no additions. Aged in mainly used barriques (no more than 20% new oak).
Nuits-St.-Georges “Les Hauts Pruliers”
From a plot of fifty year-old vines that touch on the Pruliers 1er cru. This is typically the first vineyard harvested each year as the plot is south-east facing and is protected by a high wall so the maturation is always early. The grapes are 100% destemmed and fermented in large wooden vats. The wine is aged in 228L Burgundy barrels - of which most are used - for 18-20 months. It is bottled without fining or filtration.
Nuits-St.-Georges “Les Terrasses des Vallerots”
Farmed organically. Stony, clay and limestone soils. From a 2 hectare parcel replanted and re-terraced by Axelle’s father Bertrand in 2001 which sits directly above the premier cru vineyard of Les Vaucrains. This plot had previously been abandoned in the late 1800s after phylloxera, and, as such, has never been exposed to any chemicals. All farming is done by hand on the terraces. Native yeast fermentation, aged entirely in used barrique. A lighter, more feminine style of Nuits-Saint-Georges with fine tannins.
Nuits-St.-Georges “Les Vallerots”
Les Vallerots sits above Vaucrains, higher on the hill than the terraced section, and was planted by Bertrand in 1984. This is always the last vineyard to be picked as it is the highest-elevation plot. The grapes are 100% destemmed and fermented in large wooden vats. The wine is aged in 228L Burgundy barrels - of which most are used - for 18-20 months. It is bottled without fining or filtration.