Olivier and Guillaume Boigey, two brothers whose former careers are a far step from the wine industry, have come together to produce Pinot Noir from some great vineyard plots belonging to the family.
Neither Olivier, Guillaume nor their parents were from a traditional winemaking family. They did not inherit the family winery passed down from generation to generation, so there were no “great expectations” nor “stress” in making this decision. They did, however, take back vineyard plots that belonged to their family that had been rented out for many years. This is a time-consuming process and has taken a couple of years. But it has all become part of their new destiny that implies taking on a completely new profession and try and produce some high standard Burgundies. “It was a difficult but exciting decision to make” said the two brothers with a huge smile.
With the reputation for Burgundy and especially for Pinot Noir’s from the emblematic village of Vosne-Romanée, they have plenty of work on their plate.
To start with, they had to return to school to learn how to “vinify” grapes, or if you prefer, learn how to make wine.
Both have come out with diplomas in winemaking, and they share all the tasks, whether making the wine in the “cuverie” or out in the vineyards.
What are their characters like?
Olivier is the older brother – a big, burly ex-rugby player – and has spent many years working abroad, mainly in Africa as a retail manager.
Guillaume is (obviously) the younger brother and is more on the slightly built side and spent 20 years working in quality control for a pharmaceutical company.
Why did they choose to start a winery?
Well, they had vineyards that belonged to the family (3.15 hectares or 7.8 acres) which they took back from the winemakers they were rented to.
They also wanted a career change and a new challenge. Now in their forties, it was time to do something new and challenging. Since they were fortunate to have a small selection of vineyards, it was an easy decision.
The family possesses some buildings, built with beautiful Burgundy limestone which they have transformed into a tasting room with cellars below and a small winery installation (cuverie). All this is in the heart of the village of Vosne Romanée. As is often the case in these wine villages, neighbouring buildings belong to cousins and nephews and so on. Their immediate neighbours include the domaines Richard Manière and Gérard Mugneret and the famous DRC estate is less than 100 metres away.
What vineyards do they have?
Bourgogne Rouge, Vosne-Romanée, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru – Les Suchots,
Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru – Les Damodes,
Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru – Les Boudots et Echézeaux Grand Cru.
These can be considered as some of the emblematic vineyard plots in this village.
What is their long-term strategy and image that they wish to vehicle?
They do not necessarily want to expand their production. They do have a plot in the Hautes Côtes (hinterland) which is 1.8 hectares and needs to be replanted. Here, initially, they want to produce some Chardonnay.
This is a project for 2022.
Back in the village, they have decided to open to visitors. They are available to initiate wine lovers to barrel-tasting in the cellars and to explain their wine-making techniques. They also welcome guests to their tasting room for a glass of their wine and a cold plate of ham and cheese. It’s very convivial and the setting is beautiful. However, they are winemakers and have work to do in the vineyards and winery, so they don’t have “all-day” opening times…best to reserve.
Finally, and what is even more important, is that we have a winery and winemakers that are willing to open their doors and cellar to the public, preferably at lunch time or early evening. This generosity and willingness to share comes from both their working backgrounds and the fact that they can step back from the “inherited” family estates attitude and can see the wine activity from a different angle.
Future projects also include the conversion of the upper floor of their tasting room to a guest house with 3 bedrooms.
In his spare time (!), Guillaume is a village counsellor and has the global image of the village of Vosne Romanée at heart. He wants to make this famous wine village more attractive to visitors. Up until now, despite its reputation for possessing some of the best and most expensive Pinot Noirs in the world, visitors to the village are often confronted with closed doors to the wineries. It almost comes over as a ghost town; pretty but not very welcoming.
The village of Vosne-Romanée is starting a new era and attitudes are changing, thanks to the new Mayor, Guillaume, and members of the new council (many of whom are young winemakers).