The Au Pied du Mont Chauve vineyards are mainly in the Côte de Beaune: with vineyards in Chassagne-Montrachet, including six Premiers Crus; Puligny-Montrachet, including two Premiers Crus; and Saint-Aubin, including three Premiers Crus.
They also have a Montagny Premier Cru as well as two Grand Cru plots: Corton Clos des Fiètres and Corton-Charlemagne. They produce both red and white wines in the Premier Cru vineyards of Saint-Aubin Pitangerets, Le Charmois and Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Chaumées.
The vineyards at Au Pied du Mont Chauve are all farmed biodynamically, fed only with natural fertilizer from the surrounding farms and entirely ploughed by horse. The fruit is all hand-harvested. According to Francine, their conversion to biodynamic farming was in order to preserve and strengthen the structure of the plant, through an increase in soil health.
The 40-strong team at the estate carries out in-depth studies on the vines’ health, while also working in a harmonious way with nature, something which Francine believes increases the precision of the fruit. In May 2019, Antoine Lepetit de la Bigne, a specialist in biodynamic viticulture, joined the estate as Technical Director.
Sorting, pressing, fermentation, racking and bottling is all carried out according to the lunar calendar.
The Chardonnay is pneumatic pressed before being transferred to tank. It is then settles for a day and transferred to barrel via gravity, where it undergoes fermentation and maturation.
For the reds, the fruit is almost entirely de-stemmed (with 10-20% left whole-cluster, depending on the vintage). The fruit undergoes a two- to three-week fermentation before being pressed off and transferred to barrel for ageing.
The fermentations are all with indigenous yeast and both the whites and reds are blended in tank before bottling.
The team uses a range of oak with Austrian foudre alongside traditional barriques. There is a maximum 20% new oak on any wine and a push to reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide being used.
Each year the new barrels are given a distinct colour banding. Walking through the 15th century cellars, it is easy to spot the age of each of the barriques used in what is a hugely colourful cellar.