Domaine Génot-Boulanger, Burgundy

On The Road To Organic Certification…….

Domaine Génot-Boulanger was founded in 1974 by a Parisian pharmacist named Charles-Henri Génot. Back then, it was more of a hobby than a livelihood, and together with his wife, Marie, née Boulanger, Charles-Henri started exploring the terroir and purchasing parcels all along the Côte d’Or, beginning with their first vines in Mercurey. The domain, located in the former stables of the Château de Citeaux in Meursault and built upon some of the oldest Cistercian cellars, became “Château Génot-Boulanger” in 1975.

Guillaume and Aude Lavollée are fourth-generation vignerons at Génot-Boulanger. Unlike their forefathers, who maintained their principal careers in Paris, they are the first to devote 100% of their professional lives to producing terroir-driven wines. Guillaume and Aude inherited 22 hectares of vineyards, located over a 60 km stretch of land from Chambolle-Musigny to Mercurey. Average annual production is around 120,000 bottles. The wines are produced solely from vineyards owned by Domaine Génot-Boulanger. The estate produces 30 appellations, including 3 Grand Crus and 13 Premier Crus.

Cellar master and vineyard manager Nicolas Ludwig works with Guillaume and Aude to convert the domain to organic farming and leads experiments in biodynamics. The domain’s philosophy is “maximal work in the vineyard for minimal intervention in the cellar.” The goal is to translate the substance of the grapes (soil, exposure, climate, history) without compromising their character. The vignerons’ fingerprint is present, but the wines should speak for themselves. The vineyard team uses organic composts and tills the soil to encourage subterranean life. No chemical herbicides. Increasingly, horses work the soil. According to the seasonal calendar, the team prunes, de-buds, and thins out the leaves in the interest of limiting the productivity of the vines. Trellising is a little higher than normal, a choice believed to raise the photosynthetic potential of the plants and encourage the best ripening possible in Burgundy’s cool climate.