Domaine Bonneau du Martray is recognized as one of the world’s great wine estates and a reference point for its appellation. It is the sole estate in Burgundy to produce only Grand Cru wines with the further advantage of holding the single largest contiguous parcel in Corton-Charlemagne. The current winemaker and proprietor, Jean-Charles le Bault de la Moriniere whose family is only the third set of owners in over twelve centuries, calls his wine the product of light rather than heat . The vineyard’s unique west and south west aspect significantly increases the exposure of light on the vines, without running the risk of excessive heat. The estate’s 11.09 hectare holdings, the largest in the appellation, are in contiguous parcels in the heart of the Charlemagne ‘climat’ - 6.57 hectares within commune of Aloxe-Corton and 4.52 in Pernand-Vergelesses. There are 15 parcels totaling 9.5 hectares of Chardonnay which produce Corton-Charlemagne and a single parcel of 1.5 hectares of Pinot Noir from which small quantities of Corton Rouge are made. Each parcel is vinified separately and offers unique qualities to the final assemblage. The soils range from limestone, marl and clay on the upper slope, imparting a floral elegance to the wines, to limestone with iron topsoil below which lend body and ripeness. For many, Domaine Bonneau du Martray is Corton-Charlemagne – one of the very greatest of all Grand Cru white Burgundies, synonymous with a style that combines elegant reserve with remarkable balance, concentration and purity.
|Domaine Bonneau du Martray is recognized as one of the world’s great wine estates and a reference point for its appellation. The rich history of its vineyards traces directly back to the Emperor Charlemagne himself, who once owned a plot that is now part of the Domaine. Legend has it that Charlemagne had a preference for red wine which often stained his flowing white beard. His queen suggested that this was beneath him and that he should drink only white wine, upon which he demanded that his vineyards be planted over to white grapes. Charlemagne donated his plot to the Abbey de Saulieu in 775 and the church retained it for over a thousand years until the French Revolution when it was acquired by the Bonneau du Martray family, descendants of Chancellor Nicolas Rolin, who had founded of the Hospice de Beaune in 1443.
In the 19th Century, the Bonneau du Martray family held almost 59.3 acres of vines including the entirety of the Charlemagne ‘climat’ in the commune of Pernand. Eventually the childless Rene Bonneau de Martray, born in 1886, bequeathed his estate to his niece, Alice le Bault de la Moriniere. It was her husband Jean, taking over its management in 1969, who initiated the renaissance of the property - expanding and modernizing the cuverie and cellars, and beginning to bottle his wine at the estate instead of selling to negociants. In 1994, his son Jean-Charles assumed responsibility for the Domaine and returned to Burgundy to study oenology, leaving a career as an architect in Paris. At the same time, Henri Bruchon the Chef Vigneron retired. His sons Bernard and Jean-Pierre now work with Jean-Charles.