All their wines are labelled as "Vin de Pays", as they are located out of the existing appellations . Another strange side effect of this appellation system that prevents these Burgundy wines from having "Bourgogne" written on the labels . The good side effect ( for us ) is they are cheaper . I bought another 6 bottles of "Vignoble de Flavigny Pinot Noir 2002" , wich tasted just as good , at 6 Euro . I took also 2 bottles of "Vignobles de Flavigny Auxerrois 2002" , a white (Auxerrois is the name of the grape variety ) that was selected by the Hachette wine guidebook . Nice round wine, also 6 Euro . Among their other wines , they have oak cask Pinot Noir 2002 at 8 Euro , Pinot Noir Reserve 2002 at 7 Euro, Pinot Beurot (rosé)2003 at 5 Euro, Chardonnay 2001 (white) 7 Euro, Pinot Beurot Blanc (white) 2001 at 6,20 Euro, plus two sparkling wines ( white and rosé) at 5,5 Euro .
Oenologist Cyril Raveau receives us and explains the work after our tasting . He is about 30 years old and completed his studies in Dijon and worked on several reputed vineyards . The Flavigny vineyards were planted on slopes with south and south east exposure . Clay-limestone soil with thick granulation favorable for noble and quality vines . Lyre trellising, wich is usually experimental , is systematically used here : It consists in two arms opening at shoulder height , and allowing for a better exposition of the leaves to the light . It allows quality plus yields, with research-proven positive impact on vine growth period and maturation period . Experimentations were conducted by the ATVB ( a french vineyard techniques bureau ) and the INRA at Dijon ( french agro engineering research entity), as well as at Domaine Henri Latour ( Auxey-Duresses ) . INAO , the french appellation authority , refuses to allow its use , as it will change the personality of the wines , thus departing from the existing tradition . In Flavigny , as their wines are labelled "Vin de Pays" ( and are outside of the regulated appellations ) , they are free to use the lyre trellising as they like . 3300 vines/hectares here as opposed to 10 000 elsewhere .Smaller density partly compensated by the presence of two vine arms ( lyre ) instead of one . Yield here is 35-37 hectoliters/hectare for reds . 50-60 hecto/ha for whites . As vin de pays , they are allowed to have 80 hecto/ha .
All harvest is hand done , with baskets . Sorting tables sometimes , like this year for the Pinot Noir grapes . Destemming for reds . And this year , separate vinification for the two expositions of the lyre , on all reds and part of the Chardonnay . Here they grow a tiny plot of Cesar , a rare red grape variety , that they vinified on carbonic maceration to limit tannins, wich in Cesar can be too strong . We taste the Cesar 2004 from the vat . We are warned of the surprise . This is one , but not a disagreeable one . The Cesar 2003 will soon be bottled and on sale here . Small volumes , though .
I can't but post a few pictures shot in Flavigny . As I came there alone two days earlier on Christmas day, the village was quiet and people enjoyed staying warm inside . I wandered in the narrow streets and a grey cat literally followed me , stopping as I took pictures , turning right or left if I did ... He was showing me around !