A Perfect Marriage
When we talk about the wine we often find ourselves talking about relationships; between a variety and the soil, it’s planted in, between a slope and its angle to the sun, or between vignerons and their family traditions. In the case of the Domaine of Natalie and Hervé Petitot, the key relationship is between a husband and wife who work together seamlessly to produce beautiful, vibrant Burgundies. Hervé takes the lead in the vines, while Natalie, who like Hervé is a trained oenologist, manages the cellar. But the Petitots seem to balance each other in life as well. While both of them are warm, friendly people, Hervé’s drier more reserved sense of humor is a perfect counterpoint to Natalie’s vivacious and outgoing personality. This yin and yang carries through into their wines which are a fantastic blend of classic delicacy, and powerful fruit expression.
Hervé’s parents, Jean and Michèle, bottled the estate’s first vintage in 1975. Although Petitots have been farming in Burgundy for five generations, before the Domaine was founded they primarily grew grains. Hervé began working at the estate with his father in 1990 and took over in 1994. The Petitot’s home and cellar is located in the town of Corgoloin, about 15 minutes from Beaune, centrally located amidst their parcels in the Cotes de Nuits and the Cotes du Beaune which total a mere 8 ha. They hold tiny parcels in Nuits-St-Georges “Les Poisets,” Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru “La Coutière,” Ladoix, Savigny-Les Beaune “Pimentiers,” and Pommard. But perhaps their most prized terroir is 0.5 ha of vines in Cote de NuitsVillages – “Les Vignottes.” This parcel of 80 year old pinot vines lies just across the Route Nationale from “Clos Maréchale,” one of the great vineyards of Nuits-St-Georges. Other than four lanes of traffic, the only thing separating the two terroirs is a slight drop off of elevation caused by an ancient fault line, and of
In the vines the Petitots plow as frequently as possible to eliminate the need for herbicides, and use no insecticides. Hervé and Natalie believe that a wine is “photography of the year” in which it was grown so all their work is focused on allowing the terroir and the quality of the vintage to shine through. But of course there is always the goal of making wines that give great pleasure and don’t require extensive aging. After all, the key to a perfect marriage is to make sure you have some fun