« When it comes to wine, you have to know how to create pleasure before prestige. »
In truth no product requires as much varied work, or sustained attention as wine
... said Justin Godard. Sandrine and Stéphane Briday live this truism on a daily basis.
They explore, or apply innovative ideas in ways that are more sustainable for the environment and the quality of the wines.
Sandrine and Stéphane are from this generation of winemakers who have been more involved in the qualitative renewal of Burgundy wines.
Apart from a family wine heritage, Sandrine and Stéphane also inherited a requirement for high quality. This impetus was given by Michel, Stephane's father, in the creation of the estate. The quality of his work was rewarded in 1977, the estate's first real vintage when the Rully La Pucelle (a future premier cru) was awarded a gold medal at the Concours Général Agricole in Paris.
A legacy that Sandrine and Stéphane have largely capitalised on. Faced with the preponderance of high-intensity agriculture with negative effects (erosion, weakening of biodiversity, pollution, etc.), they are among those winemakers who explore, or revive, ways which are more sustainable for the environment, human health and the quality of the wines.
Their ambition is to be able to bottle all the subtleties and elegance of the great wines of Rully, Mercurey or Bouzeron. The estate's approach has always been to use as few inputs as possible. As early as 1996, the decision was taken to stop using weed killers and to return to full soil cultivation. "The soil must be alive to nourish the vine and give the grapes the constituents that will make a great wine," explains Stéphane. Each terroir can then express its unique character. Thus respected, it can offer complexity, richness and minerality through its expression: the wine.
The estate enshrines a requirement for honesty throughout its work whether in the vineyards or the cellar. For this reason it has been adhering since 2014 to the Terra Vitis charter, which aims to respect the soil, to manage the vineyard in a considered way and have each step of production checked by an approved and independent body. The vine is treated only in cases of strictest necessity, after precise observations and scrupulous consideration. Rigorous traceability frames the process and allows it to affirm in all honesty: "I do what I write, I write what I do".
Once fully ripe, the grapes are harvested manually by a team of around thirty people. Pinot noir grapes (red wines) are harvested in drilled crates of 20 kg to prevent bunching of berries and oxidation of the juice. The grapes are sorted to keep only the healthiest and ripest clusters. White, aligoté and chardonnay grapes are quickly transported in harvest tipping trailers to be pressed immediately.
Vinification is also carried out respecting the terroirs. That is to say with a minimum of interventions. Only the natural yeasts present on the grapes are in the fermentation. In maturation, the use of oak barrels is judicious in order to let the wine play the main role in all circumstances.
All nature's goodness is communicated to the wine. All of humankind's goodness is transmitted to the wine. Sandrine and Stéphane Briday invite you to share their passion and discover the qualities of the great wines of the Côte Chalonnaise. For them, a beautiful bottle is a ferment of conviviality and exchange.