We have worked with the Cornu family since the 1978 vintage, one of the very first estates to enter into our portfolio. Edmond Cornu, tall, lean and talented, was the man in charge at that time. His son, Pierre, joined the family enterprise shortly thereafter and Pierre now has taken on the title of proprietaire while Edmond remains “principal advisor”. The domaine’s holdings are spread throughout the villages of the northern tier of the Cote de Beaune. Their wines capture the broad spectrum of sensory pleasures that the best of the wines from Ladoix, Aloxe, Chorey and Savigny supply.
The Cornu family settled in the town of Ladoix in 1870 and established the domaine in 1875. Edmond Cornu assumed command of the estate in 1956 and in 1959 began to bottle the fruits of his labor. Up to that time all wines made at the estate had been sold to negociants. As the private clientele increased, Cornu also expanded the domaine. With the ascension of his son, Pierre, to full participation in the domaine, this dynamic family has aggressively pursued additional opportunities to acquire prime vineyard sites. Having expanded the domaine, Pierre is now joined by his cousin, Emmanuel Boireau, in supervising the vineyard and cellar work.
Having expanded the domaine, Pierre is now joined by his cousin, Emmanuel Boireau, in supervising the vineyard and cellar work.
Currently, the estate comprises 15 hectares, 13.5 of which are planted to Pinot Noir and the rest to the classic white grapes of Burgundy (1.5 hectares to Chardonnay plus 0.5 hectare of Aligoté). The vineyards are spread across the communes of Ladoix, Chorey, Aloxe Corton and Savigny in the Cote de Beaune and a small parcel in Corgoloin in the Cote de Nuits.
The entire crop is hand-harvested. The grapes are completely destemmed. The fermentation for the reds and the Aligoté occurs in stainless steel tanks; pigeage and remontage are part of the fermentation process for the red wines, the extent to which either is done is dependent on the structure of the particular vintage. Fermentation temperatures normally range between 30 and 32 degrees centigrade. After the alcoholic fermentation the red wines are racked into small barrels to age for 15 to 20 months, again the length of elevage depends on the structure of the wine, the more sturdy and complex the wine, the longer the aging in barrel. The malolactic fermentaion is done in barrel. The wines are rarely fined and only occasionally may be filtered. The few white wines produced at this domaine are, with the exception of the Aligoté, fermented and aged in small barrel with a minimal use of new oak.
Lutte Raisonnée, certified by Terravitis since 2007
Synthetic treatments only when necessary, cover crops planted between the vines, no herbicide
Annual ploughing to promote soil health
A variety of sites in the northern Côte de Beaune, with small holdings in the Hautes Côtes and the southern Côtes de Nuits, all on soils of limestone-clay
30 years average age, with some older vines nearly 100 years old. All vines rained in Guyot
Controlled through a combination of pruning, debudding, and an occasional green harvest
Entirely manual, usually in mid-late September
Entirely estate fruit
After c. 70% destemming and a 5-6 day cold soak red wines ferment spontaneously for 15-20 days in concrete and stainless-steel tanks. White wines ferment spon- taneously in barrel, except the Aligoté and a portion of some village wines, which ferment spontaneously in tank.
A combination of punchdowns and pumpovers depending on the vintage.
Chaptalization when necessary
Whole-cluster, direct pneumatic pressing for white wines, pneumatic pressing for red wines
Spontaneous, in barrel in spring
Grand cru and 1er cru wines spend 15-20 months in 228-l barrels (20-30% new), village and regional wines spend 12 months in 228-l barrels (0-10% new). Aligoté spends 12 months in stainless-steel tanks, as does a percentage of some village wines.
Wines stay on their fine lees for the duration of their élevages.
FINING & FILTRATION
Wines are rarely fined with bentonite and see occasional plate filtration.