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Pommard Seeks Grand Cru Approval

The man coordinating the push for grands crus in Pommard tells Wine-Searcher why the appellation deserves to be recognized.

The village of Pommard in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune hopes to have its first grands crus vineyards within two to three years.


The red wine producing appellation does not yet have any grands crus but it has applied for a number of premier cru vineyards to be promoted to the region’s highest rank.

In an application filed with the National Institute of Appellations (INAO), Pommard’s grower union has called for Les Rugiens Bas and Les Rugiens Haut vineyards to become Rugiens grand cru, Les Grands and Petits Epenots to be upgraded to grand cru under the name Epenots, as well as Clos des Epeneaux, a 5.2 hectare vineyard owned exclusively by Domaine Comte Armand.

In total, the three grands crus would cover 43 of Pommard’s 323ha of vineyards.

Over the course of 2011 and 2012, the growers prepared the application, which was submitted in September 2013.

The application claims that the proposed grands crus have long been perceived as the best sites in the village. “The research has proved that these terroirs have always been identified as the best in the appellation in numerous classifications over the past 250 years,” said Aubert Lefas, the head of the Pommard growers’ union and manager of Domaine Lejeune (pictured).

An economic study showed that Rugiens wines have fetched a price premium of more than 50 percent compared with other Pommard premiers crus during the past 50 years while Epenots achieved a 40 to 60 percent premium.

“In total, 47 wine producers are affected by this application, but the other 250 producers in the appellation have voted in favor of the village evolving in this way,” Lefas told Wine-Searcher.

After gaining approval from the INAO at regional level, the application will go forward to the national office in Paris. “They will verify that our application is based on fact and the quality of wines is consistent with the level of quality found in other grands crus in Burgundy,” he said. “If all goes as planned, it will take about two to three years to gain this recognition.”
Currently, the Côte de Beaune’s only red grand cru is Corton.

Source: Rebecca Gibb
14th February 2014

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