Domaines Leflaive, the “s” is important, was founded as a négociant house to enable the management company of Anne-Claude’s Leflaive’s recent, exciting venture in Macon-Verzé to sell grapes to Domaine Leflaive in Puligny, where they are vinified - neatly accommodating traditional Burgundian law.
Macon-Verzé lies just south of the Côte Chalonnaise. Anne-Claude’s former manager Pierre Morey and her friend and colleague Dominic Lafon had both spotted a property there which they were sure would interest Anne-Claude. 9.5 hectares of pristinely managed vines, in five parcels, had been lovingly tended by an elderly couple, then looking to retire, yet who had no children. Anne-Claude assured them that the vineyard would be well cared for, eagerly anticipating what biodynamic viticulture could bring to a simple appellation. The property was bought late in 1993 and the first vintage was 1994.
The first vintage which was worked biodynamically throughout was 2006 but the results were inspirational from the outset. Anne-Claude’s cousin, one Paul de Noüe, a fourth generation Leflaive manages the estate under the company name SCE Joseph Leflaive.
It so happens that, under Burgundian law, a property cannot sell its grapes directly to be vinified more than 50km away – hence the requirement for a négociant house. Unwilling to relinquish any level of control, Anne-Claude elected to establish their own- Domaines Leflaive. It works well as the contract between the three companies ensures that Domaines Leflaive may only buy grapes from SCE Joseph Leflaive and may, in turn, only sell to Domaine Leflaive.
What is lost to romance in this arrangement is a gain for total quality control beginning to end. The wines can be looked after, at the Domaine in Puligny, in exactly the same way as the Puligny wines throughout vinification, ageing and bottling.
The Mâcon-Verzé holding consists of five separate parcels in the Mâcon-Verzé sub-appellation:
Escolles 0.9 hectares, Le Monté 0.9 hectares,En Perret 1.8 hectares, Les Muses 2.8 hectares and Les Chênes 3.0 hectares.