During my last trip to Burgundy, in May, a ride around the famous domains of the region gave me the opportunity to meet the very kind and endearing Virginie Taupenot of the Domaine Taupenot-Merme. Located in the heart of these prestigious terroirs, the family domain started in Morey Saint Denis and the vineyards of 13 hectares are shared in 20 appellations in Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits.
The story begins in 1963 when Jean Taupenot marries Denise Merme. Their union also regroups their two respective vineyards, the first one located in Saint-Romain and Auxey, while the latter is located between Gevrey and Nuits-Saint-Georges. The larger part of the current vineyard was purchased and planted by Armand Merme, Denise’s father and by René Taupenot, Jean’s father. It is composed of old vines with a median age of 35 years, while some of them are over 60 years for the Premier and Grand Crus.
The domain was, for a long time, operated by Jean Taupenot that produced, during his time, very traditional terroir wines. Jean and Denise have managed to share their know-how to their kids, Virginie and Romain that took over the domain in 1995 (Virginie) and 1998 (Romain). They rapidly opted for bio agriculture, suppressing all the usage of chemical elements and by respecting the vines, showcasing the long experience and the passion of their parents for the terroir. In 1999, the domain expands with the acquisition of a parcel of Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru les Pruliers. After that, in 2003, Jean took over some of his vines in Saint-Romain and Auxey Duresse and another Grand cru vineyard is added, with 0,5 hectares of Corton Rognet.
They all have their roles, with Virginie being charged with the administrative and commercial tasks. Since 2008, she is also at the head of the “Woman and Wines of Burgundy” association, an important role for her dream of witnessing a bigger presence of women in the wine world. Indeed, their are now numerous of them in direction roles of domains, a role that was almost strictly reserved to men in the past. Romain is responsible for the winemaking process, while also being tasked with a few commercial markets. In their work, they all have their approach for each of the different steps. As an example, the soils are plowed many times a year and the vines are taken care of responsibly to maximize and master their production levels.
It is important to note that Virginie and Romain, despite all their very environmental-friendly methods, are not certified at all. Ultimately, their goal is to produce good wines that will fully satisfy their customers.
When Virginie tells us about her story, we can feel her passion, the love for her work, the vines and the parcels she looks over on. A visit of their vineyard happens quickly; nothing fancy. Her favorite parcel is located right behind the garden next to the renowned parcels. Life is beautiful and simple here.
Denise is cooking up breakfast, the dog watches us walking around, the temperature is beautiful and it breathes happiness. Virginie loves all the small pleasures in life: good food and good wine surrounded by the people she loves, and laughing while working! She makes sure to welcome the visitors warmly, hoping that they fall in love for her wines and for the Burgundy region that she cherishes so much! Her personal motto is “Live with passion”. A domain to discover, whether it be to meet the passionate, welcoming and charming Virginie, or to taste their excellent products.