A&A Devillard — Fine wines of Burgundy
May 2019: my first visit in Mercurey. Burgundy being what it is, even if some say it is quite a small area, it is large enough to not know about all the domains that are located in the region. This is the case of the Château Chamirey.
Arrived on a cloudy day, a rare sight at this time of the year, I discovered a real and beautiful castle; I am scheduled to meet Amaury Devillard.
The family house, overlooking the Chalonnaise coast is located there since the 18th century. Their history is plural, through the centuries and the various appellations. It is also a story of family and love of wine, as it is often the case.
It is in 1934 that the first bottle of Château Chamirey is produced by the Marquis de Jouennes, step-father of Bertrand Devillard and the grandfather of Amaury and Aurore. With this first bottle begins a great and beautiful adventure…
In the following years, the family join the select group of fine wine producers of Burgundy by developing their three domains: Château Chamirey (37 hectares in Mercurey, with 15 ha of Premier Cru), Domaine des Perdrix (12 ha in Côte de nuits, with 6 in Premier and Grand crus) and the Domaine la Ferté (2.37 ha of Givry Village and Premier Cru La Servoisine). All of the products are made with the same passion and pleasure, by upholding the unique spirit and character of each domain.
In 1996, Bertrand, his wife Christiane and their kids Amaury and Aurore, took over the management of the Domaine des Perdrix. Today, Amaury and Aurore are the 5th generation to look over the five domains of the family, as the Domaine de la Garenne and Le Renard were added throughout the years.
Amaury pays me a complete visit aboard his super Jeep that conquers everything from ravines to the biggest of roots. He first leads me through his vineyards, a breathtaking and out of sight landscape. A history for each individual parcel, with a soil, colors, unique properties and all the small distinguishable nuances, all of this in the village where he grew up, met and married his wife and raised his children. The village in which he has also invested his personal time to save the church, where his parents rest in peace in one of the two graveyards that remind us that, a long time ago, two small villages united to create the one bigger village of today. He has his own place, where he likes to sit and contemplate this unique landscape that soothes him and brings him back to himself. A key for him is to know when to take a break and to take his time. After an episode of precarious health, he clings more than ever to life, a life that has kindly given him more time.
I was impressed by the man, his history and his wines as he is one of the most endearing and charming people I have ever met. Generous of his time, his stories and his great kindness, we finished the visit of the cellars that are well-adapted to the modern needs, with all the best and latest technologies. During our visit, he stops to greet all of the employees of his team but also those that are working to improve the installations; Amaury is a real kind man. The estate also receives visitors, by reservation. They also have small houses that are rented to visitors. Everything here is done with care and love. It is his wife that takes care of the ambiance and the small elements of distinction… he recognizes, with admiration, that the impact and the importance of these details is essential to make people feel good, which is the most important thing!
A domain that is certainly worth visiting!