For two guys who were neither Burgundian or born into winemaking, Jean-Pascal Sarnin and Jean-Marie Berrux could have fooled us. In fact, when the two met in 2006, Jean Marie was only a few years into his winemaking career at a large domaine. The two met simply as neighbours when Sarnin moved in next door to Berrux, quickly discovering a mutual love of opening good bottles over an apero.
Of course it’s always over a few good bottles that the best ideas are born. Being both food lovers and natural wine enthusiasts, they thought it was about time they tried their hands at making the style of wines they loved to drink. And so their winemaking story begins in the vintage of 2007.
The two took the concept of natural living to the extreme, making four white wines from the vintage with no water, no electricity and limited equipment. Slowly finding their feet (and some amenities), in 2013 Sarnin and Berrux took residence in Monthelie, in a suitably old Burgundian house, complete with ancient wine cellar.
However, life didn’t necessarily get easier for the two with the move. Committed to sourcing organically grown grapes was not an easy task in the region given the overall demand. Plus, not being from the region didn’t exactly help matters, so it took time and persistence for Sarnin and Berrux to finally secure the quality they wanted. These relationships are now cemented, with the two able to source from the same vineyards year on year: Pinot Noir (Volnay area, 60 year old vines), Passe-Tout-Grain (Morey-St-Denis, 70 year old vines), Bourgogne Blanc (Cotes de Beaune area, 35 year old vines), Volnay (50 year old vines) and Gevrey-Chambertin (45 year old vines). For the Gamay, the two source the grapes from the same grower in Regnié from very old vines of 80-90 years old.
With grapes secured, the focus from Sarnin and Berrux remains on making quality natural wines, wines that are alive, precise and well made. With a nod to the past, the wines are made using traditional and ancestral techniques, including natural vinification with just the addition of a small amount of sulphur (15-20mg/L) before bottling on most wines.
All wines are fermented in wooden tanks, and aged in 3-10 year old oak barrels for about 12 months, excluding the Aligote, with no fining or filtration. All white wines are aged on lees, without batonnage, with one single racking before bottling. All red wines are whole bunch (not carbonic), with pumping over and foot stomping during the vinification process.
In recent years, the Pinot Noir has transitioned from an AOC Bourgogne Rouge out of the AOC system. Like many natural producers, they have found it challenging to gain approval as their wines taste outside mainstream, standard Burgundy they are benchmarked against. It is for these characteristics that we love and are moved by these wines, they are wines made by wine lovers first and foremost.
Lastly, please note these wines are limited, even more so with recent weather events that have struck in Burgundy destroying a large part of the harvest across the last few years. We feel very fortunate to be able to offer them to you.