The why, the what and the how of...

Domaine Méo-Camuzet

Established in 1902 by Étienne Camuzet, the domaine was bequeathed to Jean Méo in 1959. The estate applies its collective knowledge, inspired by years of tradition, to produce villages, premiers crus and grands crus wines across its almost 20 hectares of vineyards, with both structure and delicacy that express the diversity of their soils.

In 1985, Jean Méo’s son, Jean-Nicolas, took over at the helm. A large portion of their vineyards were rented out on a share-cropping (métayage) basis at the time, and the bold decision was taken to reclaim them back as the leases expired. Jean-Nicolas called upon Burgundy winemaking legend, Henri Jayer, for guidance. He had farmed some of Méo’s parcels for forty years, so this decision made perfect sense. His assistance and advice was given to Jean-Nicolas over a period of three years – an invaluable addition to help fine-tune his craft.

Vine-growing techniques favour the natural balances of the grape and yields are kept low. Minimal intervention is honoured at this domaine with harvesting done by hand, careful sorting of grapes in the cellar and just the occasional punch-down following the start of fermentation before being transferred to barrel.

This encourages freshness and allows for the expression of fruit and the personality of each wine to shine through rather than overbear the wines with too much extraction. This is achieved through the use of new wood, where the majority of wines spend 18 months in barrel, with regular checks. Racking is kept to an absolute minimum. Wines are bottled without filtration, avoiding pumps and rather rely on gravity flow. A few years ago, Domaine Méo-Camuzet added a new dimension to their production: they also source carefully selected grapes from other growers and harvest them after careful monitoring of their development. These wines are vinified and matured at the estate according to the strict principles governing all the domaine’s production and marketed under their négociant label ‘Méo-Camuzet Frére et Soeurs’. These offer wonderfully plush and pure wines and the opportunity to acquaint oneself with this producer’s style before aiming higher at the domaine wines.

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