In any single wine region, often there are many fine producers, men and women who labor for the love of the vine as well as the living it affords them, but there can only be one, maybe two at the very most, whose wines merit the superlative, "the best". In the laudable appellation of St. Veran, Domaine des Deux Roches garners the coveted accolade of producing the very best wine of the commune. Without hesitation, critics, writers and consummate wine mavens in the United States and France agree that Domaine des Deux Roches knows how to transform what used to be referred to as good café wine into one of the world’s tastiest Chardonnay’s. In a recent review, the prestigious French journal, La Revue du Vin de France tasted 186 assorted wines from the Maconnais region of southern Burgundy (of which St. Veran and its more celebrated neighbor, Pouilly Fuisse, are an integral part). They saw fit to note only 33 wines, of which 4 were from the Domaine des Deux Roches. In the Revue, Michel Bettane, one of the most serious and influential journalists in France deplored "the industrialization of viticulture in the greatest part of the Maconnais", adding... "the wine of the Maconnais is not a little café wine meant simply to quench the thirst of the novice drinker... to prove it, one only has to visit the small, elite of growers on whom repose the whole prestige of the region." Jean-Luc Terrier and Christian Collovray of the Domaine des Deux Roches are the "elite growers" who have steadfastly chosen to produce quality over quantity. Sporting one of the few state-of-the-art, California style wineries in the Maconnais, this dynamic duo is not afraid to invest time or money in exploiting their excellent terroir. Terrier and Collovray have also learned the "secret" to all fine Burgundy: severe pruning or crop thinning and forgoing the excessive use of fertilizer. Also, choosing to plant their vines on high, steep slopes where the soil is more clareous and less fertile; the longer exposure to the sun at a higher altitude, imbues the estate’s grapes with better acidity, complexity and finesse to match a comparable ripeness and fat. These essential ingredients insure quality in the hands of dedicated winemakers, leading Michel Bettane to say about the wines now being made by the best growers in the Maconnais "...some of the most beautiful white burgundies produced today, with breadth of constitution unheard of up to the present, and a harmony of flavor worthy of the great growths". Kudos to Jean-Luc Terrier and Christian Collovray for the meticulous care and handling of their Sr. Veran, from vineyard to table, resulting in the production of the commune’s best wines. Emphasizing quality over quantity invariably pays off. The domaine’s normal cuvee of St. Veran (this month’s feature) is made from vines that average more than 20 years of age and is vinified and aged in stainless steel vats. It is clean, rich, flowery and long, a wonderfully pure expression of the Chardonnay grape that provides magnificent argument for keeping some Chardonnay out of wood. It is a wine that is made to be drunk in the first few years of its life, but it will continue to improve and develop additional "gras" (fat) and length up to five or six years of age. This cuvee of St. Veran consistently wins the prestigious Coupe Daily for the best St. Veran at the annual Macon fair. In addition to Domaine des Deux Roches’ normal, estate bottled St. Veran, small quantities of a delicious single vineyard St. Veran, "Les Terres Noires", and a St. Veran Vieilles Vignes are also produced. Like most Macon estates, Domaine de Deux Roaches also puts out a very fine single vineyard Pouilly Fuisse and a very good Macon-Davaye. The latter comes from a somewhat less privileged sight than St. Veran; and although it does not generally possess quite the "class", nor the finesse of St. Veran, it constitutes a deliciously buttery, pure expression of Chardonnay. This is the style of wine we wish more Macon producers would adopt; it would go a long way to dispelling the image of Macon-Villages as an uninteresting, easily forgotten glass of white wine.