Domaine de la Romanée-Conti co-owner Aubert de Villaine has backed a plan to revive winemaking in an area of Burgundy that first saw vines planted more than 800 years ago - and is now set to be the home of a new wine to be called Crémant de Talant.
Crémant de Talant is set to take its name from the tiny commune of Talant, close to Dijon on the outer limits of Burgundy, where 150 hectares of vines were planted in 1209 when Duke Eudes II owned the village.
Vineyards mostly disappeared after being attacked by the phylloxera pest. But, in 2009, Marsannay winemaker Christophe Bouvier acquired 0.7 of a hectare of vines in the hills of Talant, and has since been producing a Bourgogne blanc.
In December 2015, Maison Louis Picamelot, a Crémant de Bourgogne producer known for its cuvée Terroir de Chazot and capacity to produce Crémant from specific places, signed a lease with the commune of Talant to plant vines.
Its plan is to plant 11,000 vines on two hectares (1.2ha of Chardonnay and 0.8ha of Pinot Noir) to create Crémant de Talant.
DRC co-owner Aubert de Villaine helped to bring the project to fruition via his role as president of the Association des Climats du Vignoble de Bourgogne.
It was the association that identified Talant’s vineyard heritage, which helped Philippe Chautard, owner of Maison Louis Picamelot, to classify this climat in the Crémant de Bourgogne appellation.
Talant’s terroir is on the perimeter of the Burgundy area classified by UNESCO, and so can produce wine under the AOC Bourgogne blanc label.
Bouvier also plans to plant some Pinot Noir vines to produce AOC Bourgogne rouge.
And Marc Soyard, of Domaine de la Cras in Plombières-les-Dijon, will plant one hectare to produce Bourgogne blanc.
Talant is expected to go from 0.7ha of vines today to more than 10ha in 2020.
Editing by Chris Mercer