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Domaine Touzot

The three generation Touzot family Domaine is located in the northernmost part of the Macon region, just south of the Cotes Chalonnaise. Their 12 hectares of vineyards, in the commune of Martaily les Brancion, near Tournus, are planted half with Pinot Noir (for Bourgogne Rouge) and Gamay (for Macon Rouge) and half with Chardonnay. The Chardonnay is planted on several perfectly exposed slopes at an average altitude of 200 meters with ideal clay-limestone soils. Recently the Touzots have added the 3 hectare Les Parettes vineyard, which has an ideal, due- south exposure and a thin layer of stony, heat-retaining soil over a bed of limestone. The vines average 30 years of age, making for a more concentrated and complex wine. The grapes are 100% hand-harvested and quickly pressed in a state-of-the-art bladder press, in order to extract all the fruit and aromas while avoiding any bitterness. Touzot ferments the juice in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel cuvees. The wine is bottled in April.

Jean’s son Frederic took over management of the family Domaine in 2002, after graduating from the Lycee Viticole in Macon and completing a stage in South Africa. He dedicated himself to moving the Domaine’s viticultural practice to sustainability. He ended systematic vineyard treatments, and now only carries out treatments when absolutely necessary. He discontinued the use of herbicides and now regularly plows the soil to ensure its healthy state and encourage the vines’ roots to go deep into the limestone subsoil. Frederic Touzot believes careful pruning in the winter, leaf stripping, and bunch thinning in abundant years makes for a naturally healthy ambiance and enhances the quality of his wine. He uses organic fertilizers only when deemed necessary by tests of the soils. Touzot observes that his grapes are now both healthier and riper at harvest time. Environmentally friendly practices are also used inside the winery, such as the recycling and later purification of rinse water before it is drained away. “I try to be more observant and attentive to the needs of vineyard,” explains Frederic, “rather than habitually using the same practices every year. By respecting nature, I better understand my profession.”

Jean Touzot’s Macon Villages is a text book example: a lively bouquet of green apples and flowers (acacia is notable) and good, crisp, persistent, juicy green apple and melon Chardonnay fruit. It is the perfect all-purpose white wine, served chilled but not ice-cold. This wine goes particularly well with lighter fish and fowl dishes, shrimp and crab, cold meats, and is also a perfect aperitif. The Touzot Macon Villages represents outstanding value in Chardonnay.