It was not my first visit to this small, passionate family winery of Domaine Jessiaume. But like each time before, as you drive through southern Burgundy, past the hundred year old brick and tile homes of crop and vineyard owners and see the local village life unfolding in front of you. It is near impossible not to feel if not start to understand the unique sense of place that each of the wines crafted here show inside each bottle.
As you arrive into the small village of Santenay, it is impossible to miss the small jewel of Domaine Jessiaume - that sits graciously at the entrance to this tiny village, and lies at the southern foot of the Cote de Beaune.
Built in 1850, it comprises over 15 hectares, with a large plot in Santenay, important holdings in the Premiers Crus Santenay Les Gravieres, and the converted vines in Auxey Duresses Les Ecusseaux and Volnay Les Brouillards vineyards, and a terrific section of the Cent Vignes vineyard, just behind the city of Beaune.
Domaine Jessiaume are in fact, the biggest landowners in Santenay. Now owned by the dynamic Sir David Murray since 2006, he brings an infusion of resources and passion to the property; working closely with winemakers, Marc and Pascal Jessiaume (pictured above).
Domaine Jessiaume established their négociants business Maison Jessiaume in 2008 and a formidable reputation as a small négociants of unparalleled quality has been formed to complement the existing Domaine wines.
The old cellars under the Domaine Jessiaume winery twist and turn, like the rabbit warren that writer Clive Coates has likened them to. Within lies an accumulation of older bottles to inspire any Burgundy lover, a collection of 100,000 bottles and magnums reaches back as far as the 1908 vintage.
Today even after five generations the winery is still operated and the daily winemaking responsibilities - by the brothers Marc and Pascal Jessiaume. They aim to follow the traditions of their previous generations, combined with modern techniques. They create wines with elegance, finesse and balance with supple and well integrated tannins. The brother’s philosophy centers on a great respect for the environment, organic practices, and intensive attention to detail in the vineyards, low yields, hand picking and a precise eye for integrating innovative techniques with time-tested methods. No Cellar door as yet - visits by appointment only, and their wines are simply outstanding value for money.