The Domaine Rion behind the scenes
Vosne-Romanée is where some of the great wines of Burgundy are produced. Here at the Domaine Rion, viticulture is our focus, and making wine is our main profession.
Another activity that has become very important to us is wine tourism, so we can share our passion with our clients.
For us, the treasures of this area can be summed up with Vosne-Romanée, the vineyards and truffle patches…
At the heart of Vosne-Romanée
Vosne-Romanée is a village right at the heart of the Côte de Nuits, south of Dijon, in the department of Côte-d’Or. The Domaine Rion is a family-run estate that has been passed down through 5 generations. From one generation to the next, the estate has expanded and evolved each time.
We are very much attached to our land and our vines. Our top priority is to make sure our estate lives on. Each time we plant a vine, it's not for us but for the next generation.
The grape harvest
In Burgundy, the grape harvest usually takes place in September. It is an extremely busy time for the Domaine Rion, there are so many people working on the estate! A minimum of 40 people come to help out during the grape harvest on our estate and all the work is done by hand. We then have around 3 weeks of work to produce the wine in the winery. So autumn is a very busy time for us, both in the winery and the cellar.
We work according to traditional methods, with a touch of modernity. For example, we have a very effective pneumatic wine press that helps us get the very best juice, without pressing the pips. But at the same time, we also work in a simple way with open-air vats, where the wine is made slowly.
The truffle season
I am passionate about truffles and the whole production process. With our dogs Lagotto Romagnolo, truffle specialists, we have created an entire forest of truffle-bearing oak trees.
You have to be very patient to be a truffle grower!
First the tree is planted, then we have to wait about ten years until the roots have developed enough, creating symbiosis between the earth and the roots, which then produces truffles! We estimate that this happens for around 5% of trees. This means that truffles and becoming more and more difficult to find.
Autumn in the vineyards
As soon as autumn arrives in Burgundy, humidity from the river Saône comes with it, from the ground. When we start to see a morning mist, we know that autumn is upon us!
The climate at this time of year is particularly pleasant, with warm days and cool nights. The days are, of course, becoming shorter and then come the signs of the first frost, which is when we have to begin pruning the vines.
In Burgundy, the trees in the forest are changing, and so are the vines. The leaves change colour and take on the shades of autumn: red, yellow, and gold all make this a magical time of year. There are also a few grapes left on the vines and starlings can be seen circling the vineyards, to feast on the fruit that has been left behind.
Welcoming visitors to the Estate
Wine tourism is a very enjoyable activity. That is because we are sharing our passion and showing visitors to Burgundy the art of winemaking.
We have also created an activity we call the “city game”, which takes families on a self-guided tour of the great wines of Vosne-Romanée. At the end of the game, you are, of course, rewarded with a tasting session!Find out more about the 'City game'
Time for tasting...
We particularly appreciate the scents. There are so many different scents and flavours in the wine cellar…
In the barrel cellar here, you'll find the famous Burgundian barrels. That is where the wine is made, and visitors are always delighted to come and taste the wine, while learning all about its secrets at the same time. When is the wine put into bottles? Why are oak barrels used?
Then we have the scent of the wood, the scent of the mould, and the scent of the wine itself when it begins to ferment. Visitors really enjoy this experience.
In Burgundy there are two main grape varieties - Chardonnay for white wine and Pinot Noir for red wine. Pinot Noir produces fine and delicate wines.
And then there are the elegant, fine wines that don't need to be matured for very long. Here, we have the ideal climate for Pinot Noir, the days are warm, which helps determine the alcohol content and the strength of the wine, and the nights are cool, which produces the contrasting acidity, and characterises the wines of this region. That is how we manage to produce top-quality wines!
The vines in autumn: other experiences on offer