After eight generations, the Mongeard family remains a close-knit group and a true family business, which allows them to still make wine from all their family land holdings - 30 hectares across 35 different climats/appellations, including small parcels of Clos-de-Vougeot and Richebourg. That's an amazing feat within the laws of Napoleanic succession and family dynamics, and something that would be near impossible to purchase "from scratch" today.
[Burgundy clos de vougeot vineyard] It all began in the eighteenth century in Vosne-Romanée, the heart of the Cote de Nuits. The Mongeard family, like many of the wineries in the region before WWII, sold their wine in barrels to wine shops and negotiants. When 16-year-old Jean Mongeard, who found himself responsible for the family's wine business after his father, Eugene, passed away, was approached with a rare request to bottle and sell the entire 1945 crop to a single buyer he jumped at the chance. Since then, bottling and distributing their wine to the marketplace became the primary routine.
Strong Burgundian winemaking traditions are important at Mongeard Mugneret and remain steadfast from generation to generation. In 1985, Jean handed over responsibility for winemaking to his 29-year-old son Vincent and the processes and quality levels have remained consistent or better every year. One small, but critical, improvement Vincent made was to the barrel wood sourcing in 1998. The effect of the oak change has helped showcase the fruit and terroir characteristics.
Apart from Richbourg all grapes are destemmed completely, cold maceration occurs for 4-5 days, and natural yeast fermentation takes place over 12-15 days in stainless steel vats. Gentle pressing prevents excess tannins, and malolactic fermentation and élèvage occurs in (up to) 60% new oak barrels. After aging about 18-22 months, the wine may be fined once, but never filtered. The end result is a lineup of concentrated, well-proportioned wines that over the years will become more elegant and refined.
[Burgundy clos de vougeot vineyard] Their list of lieux-dits that they vinify allows them to offer something amazing for every price point. Clos-de-Vougeot, Grands-Echézeaux, Echézeaux are the grand crus they offer. For premier cru, they have several in Vosne-Romanée – En Orveaux, Les Suchots, and Les Petits-Monts – as well as Les Boudots in Nuit-Saint-Georges, Les Cras in Vougeot, and Les Narbantons in Savigny-lès-Beaune. Within the village appellation level, they offer Vosne-Romanée, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Fixin, Savigny-lès-Beaune, and Puligny-Montrachet
Not only has Jean Mongeard created a legacy for future generations at Mongeard Mugneret, but also for the greater Cote d’Or. As President of the Association des Viticulteurs de la Cote d`Or for many years, and as one of the most prominent growers in Vosne-Romanée, he has helped to guide the local industry. It is clear that Mongeard Mugneret deserves every bit of acclaim that they get. Their hard work, dedication, and attention to family succession will allow them to be successful for centuries to come.
[Tasting Room at Domaine Mongeard Mugneret with historic bottles and tastevin collection] Recently, Bob and I had the pleasure of visiting the gorgeous Vosne-Romanée estate and enjoyed a tasting and lunch that was unforgettable. From the first moment we were surprised by just how close Mongeard Mugneret is located to so many grand cru wineries and vineyards. They are smack in the middle of the most prestigious wine “dirt” in the world. While they are currently constructing additional resources, walking into their property was literally walking into their home. They have a nice space adjacent to the winery where we did the wine tasting. The lineup of wines gave us a good sense of the winemaking style influences and an appreciation of the terroirs owned by Mongeard-Mugneret. Afterward, we enjoyed a two-hour, Burgundian fusion meal, accompanied by a bottle of 2015 Bourgogne Blanc, at the Mongeard-Mugneret hotel restaurant. The food, the peaceful patio on a sunny day, and views of Vosne-Romanée made for one of our favorite afternoons of our entire trip. If you are visiting Burgundy, we highly recommend this stop.