Gaspard Perret and Grégory Peyre at Domaine la Renarde, Jully-lès-Buxy, Burgundy.

ince the 1960s Domaine la Renarde in Jully-lès-Buxy has come a long way. Originally a poultry farm with a bit of vineyards on the side it has since, after a long period with the local cooperative, come to focus on wine under their own name.

– It was my father-in-law who created the domaine, explains Grégory Peyre. It was very little vineyards. Then there were chickens. Wine and chickens. That was how the domaine was set up. In other words, there was food and there was something to drink.

Jully-lès-Buxy, Burgundy.Jully-lès-Buxy is one of the four villages at the southern end of the Côte Chalonnaise which make up the Montagny appellation. The other three are Buxy, Montagny-lès-Buxy and Saint-Vallerin. In total the Montagny appellation covers 352 hectares, all planted with chardonnay. 60 per cent is classed as premier cru.

Since 2016 there is a new winery on the outskirts of Jully-lès-Buxy. Sporting a wild beard Grégory Peyre welcomes you to the domaine, which he runs together with Gaspard Perret, his brother-in-law.

– I am Hagrid of Montagny, he says with a mischievous smile.

Montagny-lès-Buxy, Burgundy.Paul Perret, Grégory Peyre’s father-in-law, started out with his brother. In 1975 he decided to continue alone and that was when focus shifted towards wine.

– He started out with six hectares, Grégory Peyre says. Since then it has slowly been growing. Today we have 20 hectares. My father-in-law ran the place on his own from 1975 until I arrived in 2007, working with the cooperative in Buxy. Gaspard joined us in 2011and in 2015 we left the cooperative and began producing our own wine.

Prior to that Grégory Peyre had been working with Alain Roy at Château de la Saule in Montagny-lès-Buxy for ten years. As he points out, working with a cooperative can be very nice and comfortable. At harvest you deliver your grapes and you don’t need to think about the winemaking process. But he wanted to be part of the whole process, he wanted to deliver the final product, the wine in bottle.

Montagny, Burgundy.– We wanted to leave the cooperative already in 2011, he continues, but with a cooperative you are tied up for long periods of time. Initially the contracts is for 15 years. Then it is renewed for five years at the time. In 2011 we still had four years left, so we had some time to think through all that was involved in this project, with new buildings and everything.

The Domaine la Renarde vineyards are spread out along the Côte Chalonnaise, from Rully in the north to Jully-lès-Buxy in the south. There are two red wines – Bourgogne, Les Corbaisons and Givry, Les Champs Pourrots – and five white wines – Crémant de Bourgogne, Bourgogne Aligoté, Rully, Les Plantenays and two Montagny premier crus, Les Chaniots and Les Vignes Longues.

Grégory Peyre at Domaine la Renarde, Jully-lès-Buxy, Burgundy.The two premier crus are on opposite sides of the Montagny appellation. Les Chaniots is at the southern end, in the commune of Jully-lès-Buxy, whereas Les Vignes Longues is at the northern end. Only the premier cru Cornevent is further north.

– Les Vignes Longues is mainly clay and limestone, says Grégory Peyre. It has more limestone than Les Chaniots and it is facing southeast. It’s quite steep, but our slopes are generally not as steep as they can be in other regions, where you have to do all the work by hand. No, here you can work safely with tractors. The soil is quite deep. Les Chaniots on the other hand is an old quarry, so the soil is not deep at all there.

Montagny, Burgundy.At Domaine la Renarde no barrels are used for the white wines. Only tanks. Barrels are used for the red wines, but not to a great extent.

– Zero barrels, says Grégory Peyre. That’s how we make our whites. Les Chaniots and Les Vignes Longues are both made in the same way. In fact all wines are made in the same way. My idea when we started was to treat all wines the same way in order to let the terroir speak.

– I vinify at low temperatures, he continues. I cool the tanks to around 15-16°C. By doing that the fermentations take very long time. Thanks to that you get the white flowers character, very fine aromas. For me using oak would hide these aromas.

Les Chaniots has a bit more volume than Les Vignes Longues. The age of the vines ranges from four years to 35 years. Domaine la Renarde does not have particularly old vines. This is because the choices Paul Perret made when he first started out.

Montagny, Burgundy.– Here in Burgundy you usually have one metre between the rows in the vineyards. And you have 90 centimetres between the vines. My father-in-law decided to plant with 1.40 metre between the rows and 80 centimetres between the vines. It’s easier when you work with a tractor and it’s better when it comes to avoiding diseases. I’s better when it’s raining and with higher trained vines the wind can dry the leaves and the grapes more easily.

For the reds there is a pre-fermentation cold maceration for about five days before the fermentation slowly starts.

The Givry, Les Champs Pourrots is from young vines, planted in 2017. Les Champs Pourrots is a liue-dit in the southern end of the Givry appellation, near the hamlet of Poncey.

– Since it is very young we taste the Givry before the Bourgogne rouge, explains Grégory Peyre. The Bourgogne rouge has a bit more structure. Les Champs Pourrots is 100 per cent clay. Originally it was probably Les Champs Pourri (the rotten fields). It’s lots of clay, very deep and very humid. But it produces very correct wines.

The Bourgogne rouge has Les Corbaisons added to the label. It’s a vineyard in the commune of Jully-lès-Buxy, not far from the domaine.

– It’s just below Les Chaniots. There is a part of Les Corbaisons which is appellation Montagny village. Then there is our Bourgogne rouge. The soil is clay and limestone. Quite a lot of white soil, perhaps a bit lighter.

Red in this part of the Côte Chalonnaise has been shrinking in terms of surface area, but recently there has been a slight change.

– Pinot noir pays less, so a lot has been uprooted. Instead they have planted chardonnay. But today it’s the other way around, because it has come to a point where there is not enough red.

© 2022 Ola Bergman