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Country of Origin: France
Location: Volnay, Côte de Beaune
People: Vincent Bitouzet, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
A committed classicist, Vincent Bitouzet has produced thirty-years worth of structured, demanding and particularly age-worthy wines from the heart of the Côte de Beaune. Based in Volnay and blessed with extensive holdings in Meursault as well, this domaine is a tried and true standard bearer for all that is fundamentally good and sound in Burgundy: conscientious and sensitive work in the vineyards, respect above all for the specific character of each lieu-dit, patience and attention to detail in the cellar, and a commitment to producing wines of depth and, of critical importance, longevity.
Vincent Bitouzet’s ancestral roots in Burgundy cover at least the last two centuries. His great-great grandfather, M. Gillotte, arrived in Auxey Duresses in 1802 and was mayor of that village. In 1804, the Bitouzet line settled in Volnay. The Bitouzets were one of the first of the family domaines in this region to bottle their wines. Vincent’s grandfather had already garnered medals for his winemaking talents in 1860. Vincent’s wife, Annie Prieur, has equally distinguished antecedents. Her family (both Prieurs and Perronnets) was long established in Meursault and Ladoix. The resulting “merger” of the Bitouzet and Prieur family holdings has created a domaine of distinction and breadth. Francois Bitouzet, the only son of Vincent and Annie, is now working hand-in-hand with his parents as he maintains the deep Burgundian roots of his ancestors.
Vincent and Francois Bitouzet rigorously tend their vineyards, practicing organic viticulture that includes practices such as “sexual confusion” to reduce insect infestations, the use of organic compost when necessary, no herbicides or pesticides and severe limitations on the use of copper sulfate. Harvest is done manually. Classic Burgundian vinification is practiced at this traditional domaine and only indigenous yeasts are used.
Burgundy Report: Bitouzet-Prieur
"As the appended name implies, this Domaine is a blend of two dynasties: the Bitouzet family that settled in Volnay in 1804 and wife’s Annie Prieur family, descended from the Prieurs (and Perronnets) with vineyards located in Ladoix and Meursault. This resulted in their ownership of 12 hectares, approximately one-third Chardonnay and two-thirds Pinot Noir, all organically farmed. Vincent and Annie had one son, François Bitouzet, who was on hand to guide me through their 2019s on my first visit to the Domaine. 'The poor flowering caused low yields,' he explained. 'For example, Puligny-Montrachet usually has 11 or 12 barrels but there is only six in 2019. We picked on 11 September and de-stemmed everything. It is a vintage that was warm, less precocious than 2018, a vintage with generosity and with good identity of each terroir. I think the wines will age well, longer than 2018. We are harvesting more and more in August. All the whites were racked in August and the wines are tasted from tank without fining, which will be done in mid-November. The Meursault Village is aged in around 20% new oak.' Having tasted Bitouzet-Prieur’s wines blind in Burgfest, I already knew that they could produce excellent whites and reds. That was borne out by these 2019s that featured fabulous Volnay Les Caillerets and Mitans. Credit also to Bitouzet’s Les Aussy, not the most prestigious Premier Cru, yet full of charm. I look forward to tasting more from this address in the future."