Great wines are made in the vineyard, not the winery.
Domaine Bertagna is a 30 hectare estate in Burgundy’s Cote d’Or, with 14
hectares of vineyards in some of the top Grand Cru and Premier Cru sites, including the walled monopole vineyard Vougeot Clos de la Perriere, plus 16 hectares in the Hautes-Cotes de Nuits.
This domaine was established in the village of Vougeot in the late 1940s by Monsieur Bertagna, an Algerian businessman. In 1982 it was bought by Eva Reh, whose family has a long wine growing tradition in Germany, and whose sister Annegret runs the world-famous Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt estate in the Mosel.
Since it purchase in 1982 many years of hard work, devotion and attention to detail followed based on a strong ecological philosophy have now paid off in Domaine Bertagna's wines. Indeed they are now among the best that Burgundy has to offer, they have received much critical acclaim and are highly sought after by lovers of fine Burgundy the world over.
Wine should taste of the character of the particular vineyard site, not of a particular forest. Fruit flavor and complexity is very important, with the oak giving structure.
Domaine Bertagna wines are densely colored and fleshy, packed with spicy fruit and well-integrated oak. They are seamless wines that can be enjoyed young but deserve cellaring to show their best.
The Cote d’Or or Gold Coast, so called after the spectacular autumn colours in the vineyards, is made up of the Cote de Beaune, principally renowned for white wines and the Cote de Nuits where some of the world’s most acclaimed red wines can be found.
Situated on the main route from Dijon to Beaune is the village of Vougeot, home to the Domaine Bertagna, site of the cellars and their most important vineyard holdings, Vougeot Grand Cru and Vougeot Premier Crus. Domaine Bertagna was purchased in 1983 from the then owner Claude Bertagna by the GUNTHER REH family who also owns and runs many other international wine interests. Since 1988, the domaine has been directly controlled by Eva REH Siddle.
Over the past ten years the Domaine has undergone a complete transformation. In addition to the original Vougeot vineyards, Bertagna today boasts no less than five Grands Crus and seven Premiers Crus vineyards stretching from Aloxe Corton in the South to Gevrey Chambertin in the North (Refer to the Grands Crus Map). It is thanks to such a diversity of appellations that the Domaine Bertagna now ranks amongst the top estates in the area.
All of the vineyards can be found on fairly steep slopes, enabling excellent drainage and as they face eastwards, they thus enjoy the advantages of early morning sunshine.
Here the vineyards lie on Bathonien limestone, with scattered calcareous clay soils. The Hautes Cotes de Nuits wines come from soils lying directly above the white limestone rock. The Grand and Premier Crus are planted on soils whose constituents of stone, limestone, clay and iron oxides vary from one site to another.
It is this geological diversity which is at the origin of the magic of Burgundy where vineyards, in some cases only a few metres apart, can have completely different taste profiles, this is commonly referred to as "TERROIR". As with most European wine regions their development is closely linked to the church. Wine-growing in Burgundy can be traced back to Roman times but it is the powerful Cistercian monks who, from their base in Citeaux, began in the 14th century to plant vineyards in Vougeot and later constructed the magnificent Chateau to house their presses. Following the French Revolution the land belonging to the church and to nobility was broken up. This explains the social tissue still in evidence today where most Domaines are made up of small parcels of vineyard in any number of different villages rather than one large holding surrounding the winery as is common in most other wine regions.
Les vins Bertagna en 4 saisons
L’hiver / Le printemps
The working of the vines is continual and follows the natural vegetative cycle of the plant. Through the harsh winter months, pruning is the key process for the renewal and durability of the plant and has a fundamental influence, second only to the wine-making process itself, on the quality of the finished wine.
The Guyot style of pruning is most commonly used at Bertagna with vines trained low to the ground allowing the grapes to benefit during the night from warmth radiated by the stony soil. The arrival of spring triggers the flowering and the birth of a new vintage. The vines release subtle and delicately unique scents of the flower. During this early season the vineyards are at their most vulnerable with late heavy frost being the principle danger as well as the first signs of the many threats to the vine such as mildew, oidium, leaf-moth, spiders and weeds.
Mother nature continues to be the predominant force in summer as far as the growth of the vine and the outcome of the vintage is concerned. However, hailstorms are a real threat at this time of year and violent storms can cause irreparable damage to the grapes. The “green tasks”, that is to say taking away excessive grapes and working the soil for optimal aeration are the main daily occupations in the vineyards during the warm summer months.
Our philosophy of integrated production is based on the refusal to use chemical products (insecticides and fertilisers) and compost will only be used if seen to be absolutely necessary.
The use of reasoned prevention and sexual confusion enables us to control pests whilst respecting the ecological balance of the soils, and the environment as a whole. More recently the plants own life-rythm has become the focus with efforts to consider cosmic-time cycles as a calender for working in the vineyards and cellar.
L’Automne et les Vendanges
During the second half of September (about 100 days after flowering), the grapes arrive at full maturity ? a subtle balance between the aromas and the chemical components of the juice (acidity, sugar and phenol richness) which guarantee the colour and intensity of our future wines.
The harvest comes along and our faithful team of “pickers”, many of whom have harvested at the Domaine for more than twenty years, harvest the fruit of our labours. All the picking is done by hand into small baskets to protect each individual bunch from damage. The harvest lasts approximately two weeks commencing in the Cote de Beaune up through the Cotes de Nuits and finishing slightly later in the elevated vineyards of the Hautes Cotes de Nuits.
De Vigne en Verre...
“The wine is made in the vineyards". Or, the unquestionable quality of the wines comes from the quality of the grapes. Each stage is aimed at obtaining the perfect balance of a vintage, where all kinds of factors, soils, climate, geology and the controlling of yields, are of utmost importance.
Over the past five years the vinification at Domaine Bertagna has changed completely. A purpose built climatised facility was completed in 1992 and since then the latest technical advances have been added, more specifically for temperature control during fermentation and monitoring of the pigeage process.
Whilst representing a considerable investment, this alone is no guarantee for success and we firmly believe that great wines come from great grapes and understanding more about our vineyards, their life-cycle and physiology is the greatest challenge we have in the coming years, in our continuing quest to produce only the very finest wines.
L’elevage en cave
The choice of barrels or “piece” is meticulous. As all of our wines are made from single vineyard sites and are single variety (monocepage), Pinot Noir for the reds and Chardonnay for the whites, the influence of barrel ageing on the finished wines becomes even more important.
The choice and mix of barrels must not only underline the specific characteristics of each Appellation but also variation of vintage and help underscore the typical style of Domaine Bertagna. The choice of oak ie. what forest does the wood originate from, influences the grain of the wood which in turn reacts differently with the wine during the 18 months or so that the wine is ageing. At Bertagna we use only the finest grain French oak barrels which originate from trees which are over 200 years old, principally from the forests of Vosges, Troncais and Bertranges. It is critical that once harvested the wood is correctly stored and air dried for a long period, two to three years minimum.
During the barrel-making process the staves are toasted over oak chipping fires, charring the inside of the barrel and thus altering the structure of the wood. This consequently influences directly the taste and aroma profiles of the finished wine, most commonly one wine would be aged in a selection of barrels from differing origins and toastings, add to this a certain percentage of barrels which have previously been used and one begins to understand the numerous possible combinations from which we can decide how best to age each wine.
Prestige de la Bourgogne Vougeot…
Domaine Bertagna continues to strive for excellence and has recently received the acclaim of several of the wine professions most respected critics.
Domaine Bertagna has also converted part of its property into a small guest house which welcomes visitors from around the world who enjoy the many activities Burgundy has to offer. Reservations are required.