Domaine Jean-Claude Rateau
Beaune, Burgundy, France
Jean-Claude started with the family vines estate on 2 hectares, in 1979.
From the start, his choices were made towards techniques that respect the environment, by setting up at Clos des Mariages, the first Burgundian biodynamic trials.
With its 15 plots, located in 12 different terroirs, the estate now offers a complete range, in white and red, of Beaune terroirs: 4 regional wines, 7 village appellation cuvées, and 3 premier crus.
According to Jean-Claude, to make the best wine, we must already get the best from the grapes. All the care that has been given to the vines, at every moment of the year, will continue in the same spirit in the cellar.
The grapes are picked by hand, at the time chosen according to the maturity of each plot, and transported delicately to the pressing room. Then the grapes are squeezed as gently as possible, slowly letting the juice drip into a receiving tank.
The grape juice is then fermented in oak barrels. There, no selected yeast or addition of foreign substance to the grape. They let the natural grape yeasts start their slow work, at their own pace, and transform the grape sugars. After alcoholic fermentation, they beat the lees, these rich deposits of yeast, to give the wine richness and finesse. It is the Burgundian technique by excellence..
It’s in this slowness and respect for natural processes that the wine develops all its complexity and gives each year the unique characters of each of the terroirs of the domain.