Domaine Chanzy Winemaker Jean-Baptiste Jessauime
In a cellar in Burgundy, the strains of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik roll out over the rows of oak barrels. Earlier in the month, the fermentation process began with the ringing of a Tibetan bowl; the juices have also been “hypnotised”.
An unusual approach for a Burgundy domaine, perhaps, but veteran winemaker Marc Jessiaume insists it has a noticeably positive effect on the quality of the wine. His son, Jean-Baptiste Jessiaume, chief operating officer and chief vintner of Domaine Chanzy, agrees. They are not playing with such methods lightly: their reputation — and that of the domaine — resides in those barrels.
Bought out of bankruptcy in 2012 by Paris-based private equity fund Olma, Domaine Chanzy has big ambitions. It wants to turn the Chanzy brand into one synonymous with luxury, as well as develop a range of “festive” reds and whites that can achieve the same universal recognition as champagne.
For the luxury offering, the domaine is aiming to broaden the appeal of wines from a region that Chanzy chief executive Philippe der Megreditchian describes as “inaccessible”.
One of the challenges lies in demystifying the appellation system. Mr der Megreditchian, who is also managing partner of Olma, explains that Burgundy has 40 of the top 50 most expensive brands in the world but “no one understands how to read the labels”.
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