Joseph Drouhin was the founder of a recognized wine company in Burgundy that has already goes in the fourth generation.
Born in Yonne Department, next to the village of Chablis (Burgundy), Joseph Drouhin departed from his homeland to Beaune, the 'capital' of Burgundy, in search of good business. Bold and enterprising, there founded, in 1880, at the age of 22, a small company that bought and sold grapes, but also produced wines.
Despite of the terrible crisis in the wine sector, caused by the epidemic of phylloxera that spread through the vineyards of the whole of Europe, Joseph never ceased to believe in a future smiley. One of his greatest wishes was to provide his customers with quality wines. And managed, overcoming the difficulties, investing again in vineyards and rising even stronger in the business world.
However the Industrial Revolution has changed the social landscape and improve the level of lives of populations. New and better roads were built, facilitating business relationships, including those of shipping companies. Through of these facilities, the distribution business became, from day to day, each more attractive and well organised, also making consumers become more demanding.
The birth of a brand
Maurice Drouhin, joseph's son, inherited from his father the energy, dynamism and passion for Wines. From 1918, when he took the reins of the family business, was acquiring some vineyards on the outskirts of Beaune, starting the much desired production of quality wines (Premier and Grand Crus).
The Côte de Beaune was the first property to be purchased. This plot of land was planted with the ink caste Pinot Noir and some white varieties that were added to red wines, as was customary at the time. In 1925, the situation changed, starting the white grapes to be vinified separately, giving origin to wines of fine aroma and taste. To taste the wines, they were called to Côte de Beaune several personalities, including Eugène Cornuchet, director of the famous Maxim's restaurant in Paris. Being a great friend of the owner and, realizing that it was a product of superior quality, Cornuchet achieved, at the time, the exclusive sale of the wines of the Wines of Côte de Beaune in the luxurious dining space.
Quickly the nectars of the Drouin family gained fame. After World War II, which also significantly affected the wine trade, Maurice fought for the lost time and traveled the world, mainly through out the United States, where developed important distribution channels that contributed to the growth of the company.
A of the people most connected to Maurice was the nephew Robert, who accompanied him in several professional occasions. In addition to tasting wines since the age of fourteen, did long walks around the vineyard with his uncle and liked to talk about wine, eager to learn more and more. Thus, in 1957, the responsibility to manage the company passed to Robert.
Looking forward to further improve the quality of wines produced by the family business, acquired even more vineyards in burgundy's best designations of origin, among which Musigny, Griotte-Chambertin, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, Bonnes Seas and Grands Echézeaux. And before inao (Institut Nacional des Appellations d'Origine) to extend designations of origin, bought a vineyard of 38 hectares on the outskirts of Chablis, an unusual acquisition, to the extent that the majority of producers in Burgundy holds lowercase properties. However, more afternoon, the wines produced in those vineyards showed great quality. Already in the 1970s, it adopted new biological working methods in the vineyard, through the use of less fertilisers and chemical treatments. He also hired, for the company's staff, a woman, the winemaker Laurence Jobard, an unusual fact also for the time. Your knowledge and their sensitivity to wines surprised the entrepreneur who, together with the winemaker founded the first laboratory of oenology in a cellar.
Us late 1980s, another challenge was proposed to the Drouhin family. The acquisition of vineyards in the United States, Oregon (south of Portland), a region dominated by the Cabernet Sauvignon caste but where Robert predicted that the Pinot caste Noir would produce excellent wines. The project proved to be a success: from the first harvest (1988), Domaine Drouhin Oregon achieved an excellent Reputation.
An inheritance to preserve
Robert transmitted to his children – Philippe (in charge of viticulture) Vèronique (winemaker), Laurent (brand ambassador to the United States in New York, where currently resides) and Fréderic (current director of the company) - the knowledge of the terroirs, the sensitivity to taste wines and a demanding concept of quality. Born between 1961 and 1968, all share the passion for vines and wine, working with great enthusiasm in its respective areas, in the company founded by great-grandfather.
This family union, so unusual, helped to better define the philosophy of respect for terroir and the environment. As well as betting on the new technologies, in order to achieve better quality control, and a strategy dynamic commercial that fuels the company's continued growth.
A when the environment is one of the hottest themes in the world, joseph Drouhin is proud to be one of the companies that invests the most in this area. Thus, its viticulture follows an organic approach biodynamics; giving natural responses to natural problems. Respect for soils passes through plowing the earth on horseback, using natural compounds and leaving the vegetation grow between the vineyards. It also goes through investment in nurseries themselves, in order to ensure the genetic inheritance of vines as well as greater and more effective quality control.
In natural predators are used to the detriment of chemicals. The plants are densely planted, so as to let them sting the most deeply as with older vines. In this way, grapes are more messages transmitted by each type of soil. Deliberately low yields are favored on the vine so that grape berries gain strength, giving rise to structured wines, full of personality. Finally the harvest, the high time of the year, when the grapes are picked up and placed in small perforated boxes to protect and preserve the integrity of the fruit.
All these measures are now part of the company's routine, which is not only attentive to the environment, but also to the trends and innovations of the wine world.
Vineyards and winery
With its 78 hectares, Joseph Drouhin is one of the largest properties in the region. It has vineyards throughout Burgundy: Chablis (40 hectares), Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, (38 hectares) and Côte Chalonnaise (3 hectares). The company mostly produces Premier and Grand Cru wines, planted with the two main varieties of Burgundy, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The Pinot Noir is burgundy's great ink grape, delicate and also complicated, as it is not an easily adaptable caste. Prefers cold climates, where it produces wines thin and elegant, of velvety tannins of medium and long guard. Already the Chardonnay, the queen of whites, adapts very well in various regions of the world. It gives rise to silky wines and buttery, with excellent complexity and acidity, earning a lot from the in barrels.
To some villages or regional denominations, the company also buys grapes from other owners, long-standing partners, who share the same philosophy of Excellence. In this case, not all grapes are organic farming and Biodynamic.
The old cellar (there is a newer out of town, about three kilometers) is now the headquarters of the company and also the place of visits of enoturists. An emblematic place that overflows with culture and stories to tell.
The their underground cellars cross the town of Beaune and were belonging to the Dukes of Burgundy. Meanwhile acquired by the Drouhin family, largely of them were built walls in some compartments to hide the wine of the German soldiers. At that same time, Maurice Drouhin - son of the founder, Joseph Drouhin - was chased by Guestapo due to his links to resistance French. It was worth him escaping through a door hidden in the cellars. Over there from this door, Maurice fled through the tunnels underground to the Hospices of Beaune, the iconic city hospital -- where poorer and desvalidos were treated for free - located to some blocks away. That's where the nuns at the hospital hid Maurice. for a few months until the allies liberated Beaune in September 1944.
After the war, Maurice offered the Hospices of Beaune a few acres of vineyard as Thanks. At present, the Drouhin family extends that thanks, to the buy much of the wine prepared by the Beaune Hospices in the world famous annual auction held on the third weekend of November, in Beaune.
The distributor of these wines in Portugal is Portfolio. The wine tasting was held directly in the old winery of Joseph Drouhin in Beaune. Not all wines can be available in our country. Prices (PVP) were withdrawn on the net on several websites, translating the average price at which wines are sold worldwide.
Drouhin Vandon-Chablis Premier Cru - Mont de Milieu 2015
Wine smooth but consistent. Aroma of white flowers, apple, minerality, soft notes wooden. Medianly structured, good acidity and unctuosity, well wood Integrated.
Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet 2016
Floral citrus in the aroma, with well-integrated wooden notes in both the aroma and Taste. He interned a year in new and used barrels. A classic white of the burgundy of good intensity and structure, round, wrapous, buttery.
Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet Embazées Premier Cru 2016
Elaborate with grapes of the largest and most complex share of showcase, is a white of good aromatic intensity, floral, citrus, dried fruit and spice. Wood well integrated into the aroma and taste. On taste, a Chardonnay of excellence, creamy, elegant, fresh, engaging.
Joseph Drouhin Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011
In compared to the previous ones, the wood notes are more intense. A complex white, unctuous, already with slight tertiary aroma of dried fruit and hay, but still fruit to be shown in the set, ripe plum, roasted apple, Butter. In the mouth is bulky, engaging, unctuous, complex, with excellent acidity and minerality.
Joseph Drouhin Beaune-Grèves Premier Cru 2014
In aroma red fruit, minerality, spice, mushrooms. Round and very balanced on taste, median structure, round and with good acidity. Very elegant and balanced. Ends persistently.
Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2011
Aroma intense and complex to remember violets, black cherry, wet earth, leaf of tobacco, resin, slight leather note. In the paldara is silky, medianly full-bodied, with round and elegant tannins. End of mouth with notes of Spice.
Joseph Drouhin Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002
Fruits red, balsamic, tea leaf, wet earth and mushrooms in aroma, spice, wooden notes. In rich and complex palate, engaging, with fruit complemented by excellent acidity. A striking wine with wood well integrated, ends persistent and with very elegant spice notes.
Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos of Mouche 1993
Right a complex raw premier, classic, tasty, with an impressive freshness. The tin reveals terciary aromas of dried fruit, but there is still some evidence of fresh fruit and floral, mineral and balsamic notes. A red still with a lot of to give. In the mouth complexity and well integrated wood. An elegant red that Impresses.
Joseph Drouhin Chambertain 1988
This wine was presented without label, a surprise of the producer who decided to put it to confirm once again the great ageing capacity of the Pinot Noir caste, as well as its great quality. This wine is no longer produces and therefore does not sell. A large wine, complex, full of terciaries of dried fruit, dried flowers, tobacco leaf, mushroom and Balsamic. In the mouth revealed great presence, complemented by a great acidity and elegance. An experience taste these old Burgundy wines.