Santenay at the southernmost tip of the Cote de Beaune is like no other region in Burgundy. First of all, the orientation is much more East/West before the turn at Chassagne-Montrachet opens up to the rest of the Cote de Beaune.
Second, the terroir is much more diverse than the rest of Burgundy with a few very, very special plots featuring soils similar to Graves in Bordeaux and a precious few more akin to the top Grand Cru of Cotes du Nuits like today’s wine.
Santenay is an area where a little home-field advantage goes a long way which is exactly what we have with Vincent Girardin. This is where he grew up – the fields where his boyhood imagination ran wild.
So perhaps his parents shouldn’t have been so shocked when in 1980 at the age of 19 he made the decision to stop selling to the big boys and take the two hectares of family vines in Santenay and began making wine under the family name. A decade of experiments and then the addition of winemaker Eric Germain – the maison really hits its stride.
Vincent used his neighborhood connections to source grapes from some of the best small growers in the region for this wine. That’s why he calls it Terre d’Enfance or childhood lands. That’s also why the price is so reasonable. Sourced from vineyards aged 45+ years, this is no baby Santenay, it’s just got a tiny price tag for what’s in the bottle. In fact, despite the high-flying prices on many of his cru wines, this is considered Vincent’s flagship wine and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
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