Vincent Girardin is one of the scions of the great Girardin family of Santenay of southern Burgundy. Born in Santenay on the Côte de Beaune, Vincent is part of a winemaking family whose roots stretch back to the 17th century. He is in many ways the archetypal Burgundy grower and producer. That is to say, his domaine is a true family affair. Vincent tends the vineyards, works in the cellar, and makes the wines; while his wife of nine years Véronique complements him in running their formidable domaine. The Girardin family has for generations been well represented among the finest names in Burgundy. Vincent's father, Jean, was a renowned winemaker as is his brother, Jacques. Vincent has been producing fine estate bottled offerings at his domaine since 1982.
Vincent began his winemaking career with only 2 hectares (4.4 acres) of vines. However, when Jean retired, Vincent took over several additional hectares, from which he fashions exceptional red and white Burgundy. The white wines of Vincent Girardin display great finesse and a pure aromatic profile; they are impeccably balanced white wines that exude considerable richness as well as refreshing vibrancy. Correspondingly, Girardin fashions intense, profound red wines that balance ripe fruit with a tannic structure for ageing. This estate's wines all reflect considerable care and exceptional breeding, which render them capable over time of unmistakable grandeur.
Success in winemaking requires great rigor and attention to detail at all times for each individual wine. Therefore, at Domaine Vincent Girardin respect begins in the vineyard and surrounding lands. No herbicides or insecticides are used at the estate. The grapes are all hand harvested and then sorted twice, once in the vineyard and a second time in the winery. The sorting process eliminates any grapes or elements that would render an ensuing wine less than optimal. The pressing of grapes is a gentle affair at this estate, and the resulting wines are all aged in the finest oak barrels. A carefully controlled ageing process allows each wine to achieve its full potential. Vincent Girardin employs very little fining or filtration of his wines, also, in order to preserve their natural qualities.
Burgundy is a wine as well as a place. In fact, it is many wines and many distinct locales, all of which were once part of the ancient Duchy of Burgundy. Situated several hundred kilometers southwest of Paris, Burgundy is hallowed ground to serious lovers of the vine. From its golden hillsides, whose center slopes are so aptly named the Côte d'Or, flow France's most expensive and profound wines. Names such as Romanée Conti, Chambertin, Clos de Vougeot, and Le Montrachet among others have been delighting serious wine aficionados for centuries. Yet there is much more to Burgundy and its wines than a few illustrious names. For starters, Burgundy is the ancestral of home of two of the world's most revered grape varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Clearly, Burgundy is much more than a single wine or one great vineyard: it is a special place, a land almost entirely devoted to wine in one fashion or another. However, what remains surprising to many wine drinkers is that Burgundy is a white wine as well as red, the best of which come from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir respectively and exclusively. With a few rare exceptions, the finest Burgundies emanate from the region's core, the Côte d'Or, which begins on the fabled Côte de Nuits, just to the south of Dijon, and flows all the way south to Santenay at the tip of the Côte de Beaune. Fine Burgundy wines from these illustrious hillsides are worth their weight in gold. Salut!