A Dream Come True

Personalities  /  Dec 8  /  BY Michael Baum

A Dream Come True

by Michael Baum

Today is a big day for me, for us, for Chateau de Pommard. For seven and a half years, I've been dreaming of this day. In August 2014, our family became the owners and guardians of the château. It was not an easy situation. It was a rushed and challenging process. We were given only two weeks in August, in France, to decide. The former family owners had several offers already, LVMH, insurance companies, real estate investment companies, but they wanted to sell to a family. Château de Pommard has always been family-owned and managed since 1726 when Vivant Micault, the founder and a secretary to King Louis XV, came here to make wine for the king. Vivant's family were the founders of the village of Pommard 400 years ago.

The path between the Émile and 75 Rangs plots in the Clos Marey-Monge

I FELL IN LOVE when I first set eyes on the Clos Marey-Monge at Château de Pommard. I love the two-meter high ancient clos walls surrounding the entire 20-hectares, 50-acres of vines. I love the sea of Pinot Noir vines that rise and fall in unison with the slopes of the terrain. The crazy soil combinations that formed more than 170M years ago are insane.

Burgundy's crazy mosaic of soils is the result of more than 170M years of geological evolution.

But when we arrived here, the winemaking and vineyard management was very conventional, as most winemaking is today. 97% of the wine we are all drinking contains synthetic herbicides and pesticides. That's right; it is difficult to find wines made naturally. Organic and biodynamic wines make up less than 3% of annual worldwide production. When I set my eyes on Clos Marey-Monge, I knew we had a unique opportunity, an obligation to make this place a beacon of natural winemaking.

The two-meter stone wall we've been rebuilding helps protect the vines from chemical sprays in neighboring vineyards.

So seven and a half years ago, we started the long journey to convert the clos to organic, and biodynamic grape growing. I woke up this morning to find a message from our winemaking team that Demeter, the most widely recognized authority on biodynamic farming, has certified Château de Pommard and Clos Marey-Monge as biodynamic. My dream, one of them : ) has come true.

Antoine Lepetit De La Binge is our biodynamic sherpa.

Our 2019 vintage was certified organic in France. And now, our 2021 vintage has been certified biodynamic worldwide by Demeter. What does this mean? What does it take to be organic? How about biodynamic? If you want to learn more about this, check out our Biodynamic Wines experiences.

Of course, we all owe our vineyard team and winemaking team an enormous thank you for reaching this milestone. Burgundy is one of the most challenging places to do biodynamic farming. Every year we have hail, we have frost, we have downpours for months. This delights wine lovers because every vintage is different. But it makes the job of the vineyardist incredibly difficult. Without an arsenal of synthetic chemicals, organic and biodynamic farmers can't simply "react." We must "anticipate" well in advance the weather, the predators, the diseases which can destroy the crop and an entire year of work. It takes brains and guts to make wine this way.

Emmanuel Sala our winemaker and Ruby, horsing around after work.

The results speak for themselves. Our vintages since 2015 have been evolving steadily. Each year the wines are more vibrant, have more energy, and the aromas and flavors are most pronounced. I can honestly say I now LOVE OUR WINES, not just the place! If you haven't tried the Clos Marey-Monge wines, or you haven't tried them in a while, I encourage you to do so. You will be amazed at the purity of a naturally made wine. The grapes are free to express themselves with no chemicals in the way and only the most minimal level of sulfur required in the bottle to allow the wines to age for years to come.

You can follow us on our journey of all the changes at Château de Pommard with our new series of experiences, The Next 300 Years. Chapter One: Life in the Clos covering our conversion to organic and biodynamic farming is live.

Michael Baum

Michael Baum


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