“A reference among Beaujolais producers” according to the Bettane and Desseauve Guide; a “beacon for the region” from La Revue du vin de France. Jean-Paul Brun’s Domaine des Terres Dorées is among the Beaujolais’ elite estates, making wines in a natural style that tend towards finesse and fruity freshness.
The Beaujolais is home to a series of magnificent villages known as the ‘Pierres Dorées’ (Golden Stones) because of how the sun reflects on the chalky landscape, creating mosaics of ochre on the horizon. Surrounded by vine-steeped valleys are the communes of Oingt, Sainte-Paule, Ternand, and Charnay-en-Beaujolais. This is where Jean-Paul Brun took up the family estate in 1979, picking up from where his father left off, the latter having sold his grapes to a cooperative. The domain’s grape-growing land expanded from just a few hectares to around fifty, christened with the fitting name of Domaine des Terres Dorées. Other appellations where their grapes are cultivated include Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, Brouilly, and Morgon. The majority of the vines are Gamay, though there is also Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and a single hectare of Roussanne.
The vineyards are cultivated with an eco-friendly philosophy in mind, involving ploughed soil and the use of copper and sulphur rather than chemical additives. The harvest takes place quite late, and only once all the grapes have reached optimal maturity. In the winery, there is little intervention when the grapes are vinified, with only native yeasts used and a controlled use of oak. The traditional Beaujolais method is a ‘semi-carbonic maceration’ of the grapes in whole bunches, but the fruit at Domaine des Terres Dorées is destemmed and pressed before a long maceration…the Burgundy method! A hybrid influence that brings together the strengths of multiple regions.
The resulting wines are the definition of finesse, reliably translating the character of their terroir into the glass. Despite producing large volumes of wine, Jean-Paul Brun proves year after year that he is a truly excellent vinifier, with both his red and white cuvées possessing great drinkability. The interesting choice to vinify ‘à la bourguignonne’ means that the Gamay grapes have something of a Pinot profile about them, adding nuance to the wine without removing any of its cellaring capacity. Bettane and Desseauve have a particular penchant for this domain’s white wines, which they describe as “magnificent”. To get a taste of what a fine Beaujolais can be, you really need look no further!