Isabelle & Jean-Yves make thrilling natural wines from their biodynamically tended vines in and around the Maranges appellation of the Côte de Beaune, Burgundy. They are fortunate to have some incredible old vines of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Aligoté. Winemaking is hands-off with no additions save for sulfites.
LITTLEWINE visited Domaine des Rouges Queues during harvest 2020
"The shift to working sustainably was just the first step of not wanting to do things like everyone else. We had an incredible desire to do things differently — for both ourselves and our children."
People: Isabelle and Jean-Yves Vantey
Place: Maranges, Burgundy
Varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Aligoté
Wines: Click here
Did You Know? Maranges, the youngest appellation of Burgundy (having been granted status in 1989) is situated at the very southern edge of the Côte-de-Beaune and the Chalonnais. It’s very much tucked-away and rather isolated in comparison to the main highway of Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, etc. Here, there are hairpin roads, steep hillsides and tiny bridges. It is the definition of bucolic. There are more trees here, and everything is a little wilder; it’s less of a monoculture than its neighbouring appellations.
“Jean-Yves was working in a conventional winery, and so he did a lot of work by tractor. We have two really young children, and when he would come back home in the evening after having spent the day in the vineyard, the chemical smell of the sprays would linger everywhere in the house. What’s more, we were afraid that the smell was just the tip of the iceberg. There was no way it could continue; so we began looking for something that would seem clean and logical instead."
In Maranges, to say they were somewhat isolated in their thinking would be an understatement, but they had crossed paths with Dominique Derain in St-Aubin, who would become a friend and mentor of sorts. He had founded a biodynamic study group which they joined, and immediately they felt at ease with these practices. Wanting to teach their children that there was a cleaner and more gentle way of working their land – and above all else, remove the smell from their home – the Vanteys embarked on this new biodynamic way of working.