Sylvain Pitiot, the long-standing manager and technical director of Clos de Tart in Burgundy, is set to step down at the end of the year.

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Sylvain Pitiot (pictured) confirmed to Decanter.com that he will step aside after nearly 20 years in the role. He is credited with significantly improving quality and vineyard management at acclaimed Clos de Tart, a 7.5-hectare, grand cru monopole vineyard owned by the Mommessin family.

The news follows shortly after Roland Masse announced he would retire as winemaker and manager of Domaine des Hospices de Beaune.

Didier Mommessin, acting with Pitiot’s advice, has appointed 39-year-old oenologist Jacques Devauges as the new Clos de Tart technical director, effective from January 2015.

Devauges is currently technical director at fellow Burgundy estate Domaine de l’Arlot, where he is to be replaced by Geraldine Godot following his move. He has also worked at Chateau Potelle in California’s Napa Valley, as well for Domaine de la Vougeraie and Michel and Frederic Magnien in Burgundy.

‘It is with great serenity that I will hand over the reins to Jacques Devauges, convinced it will bring more high quality wines of this beautiful domaine.’ said Pitiot, who will continue to consult for the estate up to the 2015 harvest.

‘I decided to retire to spend a lot of time with my family, update my books and create some maps in Cote Chalonnaise and for others wine regions.’

Pitiot, 65, was originally a cartographer before deciding to study winemaking and he has already produced detailed maps of the Cote d’Or with his father-in-law, Pierre Poupon.

In 1982, he became winemaker at Hospices de Beaune and was recruited by the Mommessins to manage Clos de Tart in 1995.

(Editing by Chris Mercer)

This article was amended on 12/11/2014 to state that Devauges will remain at Domaine de l’Arlot until 1 January 2015.

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Written by Yohan Castaing