Dufouleur Frères - Philosophy

The Soul of
a Winemaker

Here at Maison Dufouleur Frères, we have neither prescribed recipes duplicated unto infinity, nor an established dogma, with one exception: the dedicated search for quality everywhere and in everything.

In Burgundy, the vineyard demands humility as well as an unwavering standard of excellence.

Humility, because when confronting the richness and the diversity of our Terroirs, the Burgundy winemaker must take care not to impose his own style, but rather allow each terroir to express its own character. Humility, when confronting the traditions of cultivating and maturing the wine that reflect centuries of patient observation. While progress is important to our methods, long experience shows us that caution is necessary so as not to upset the delicate balance.

The highest standard of excellence is also required, because in spite of all the natural gifts and historic traditions Burgundy possesses, unswerving devotion to excellence is requisite to the existence of great wines, that the result be worthy of centuries of reknown.

Our family has long treasured these values and made them their own. Our continuous presence at the head of the domain is the guarantee of a relentless perfecting of our techniques, even as we are committed to respecting tradition. The proof is that we continue, generation after generation, to put our name on our wines.

The Soul of
a Winemaker

In the vineyard, our philosophy is simple and unambiguous: there can be no great wine without excellent grapes. Attention is paid at every step in the process of tending the vines and in making the right decisions at the right moment. The production of excellent grapes is not a natural priority for the vine, so we, the winemakers, ensure the best possible result by providing the utmost care and attention.

When we plant a vine, we embark on an adventure that will last at least 80 years. To exist in harmony with a companion during such a long time, we need to respect and care for it. We use no chemical weed control, and we work the vines with ploughs. We weigh each of our procedures carefully, limiting the use of pesticides and fungicides as much as possible to allow the vine to develop its own natural defenses, and using only organic fertilizers to enrich and maintain the proper balance.

In the same way, we prune the vines and the surplus buds with all the respect due to a companion that will live and produce for decades. We take special care when performing all the tasks comprising the green harvest, encouraging growth and maturity while maximizing the health of the grapes.

The Soul of
a Winemaker

The Burgundy winemaker knows that there are no second chances. The cultivation of a single grape variety requires rigorous analysis at each stage of the process - we have no option of blending varietals to make a pleasing wine, as so many other regions possess.

Thus, even before picking the first grapes, in the weeks preceding the harvest, acid and sugar levels are constantly monitored, analyzing both the phenolic composants and the general health of the grapes. We continue to taste regularly to allow us to decide parcel by parcel the date at which each should be harvested. Because Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are relatively fragile varieties, we believe that great care should be taken during the harvest, so we pick the berries placing them in shallow flats to avoid bruising and damage, and sort them carefully before taking them to the fermentation vats.

Once there, guarding the integrity of the berries is primary in order to be able to extract maximum aroma, color, and content to retain the individual character of each parcel. After a partial or complete destemming, the berries from each parcel are vinified separately in small containers under controlled temperatures.

Our role as winemakers is to extract the best quality from the grapes, taking into account the climactic conditions, state of the crop and maturity of a given year, while attempting to eliminate any human trace we leave that might diminish the character of each terroir.

We prefer long vatting times, regulating the temperature according to the progress of the alcoholic fermentation. We adapt the schedule of punching and pumping-over by tasting each vat every day. The marc (stems, seeds, and pulp) is pressed gently and unhurriedly, to avoid any undesirable vegetal or raw tannin flavors tainting the juice. After a short period allowing the must to settle, we carefully funnel the wine into oak barrels.

The Soul of
a Winemaker

Ageing, or maturing, of the wine starts when it is put in barrels. Ageing lasts from 18 to 24 months, depending upon the character and the structure of each wine. The wines are aged in our vaulted cellars in Nuits-Saint-Georges, where temperature and hygrometric conditions are perfect and constant.

The quantity of new oak varies from 30% to 100%, but decisions about the quantities to be used are made entirely in the interests of the wine: whether a particular wine might benefit from more or less new oak, and never for economic reasons.

We prefer ageing on lees for the longest possible time without disturbing the wine, in order to allow for the richest possible exchange, because the lees provide body and depth to the wine. The malolactic fermentation, which gives both red and white Burgundies wine their subtle and delicate aromatic complexities, generally occurs from 10 to 12 months later. It is never necessary to intervene.

Again, our philosophy is to give the wine time and the best possible environment to age and strengthen gracefully and in peace. Our family meets regularly to taste, discuss, and decide upon the best measures to follow to allow each wine to develop to its greatest potential.



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