“Welcome, and watch your head!” says vivacious Anne Parent, winemaker for Domaine Parent. We are standing in the beautiful cellar beneath the winery, gleaming barrels of expensive new French oak holding young red wine.
I’ve met Anne many times in New York, as she was VP for the BIVB and very active in educating Americans about the complex details of wine from Burgundy. In this region, it is possible to stand in one spot and have each foot in two different soil types that result in very different grapes.
The family traces their roots back to Etienne Parent in in 1787 established a relationship with our American president Thomas Jefferson, becoming his wine adviser for Burgundy.
Though typically the role of winemaker goes to the oldest son in the family, Anne fought hard to become winemaker, and now runs the domaine with her sister Catherine. (Brother Francois works with his wife at Domaine Anne Francoise Gros).
Of her time spent with the BIVB educating people around the world, Anne feels her efforts was worth it Many markets, America and Japan specifically, have a renewed interest in Burgundy and are beginning to understand the various villages.
In terms of her own domaine, Anne is following the “trend” (actually not a trend, since it is the way wine was made before chemicals) to farming as naturally as possible, and also has three levels of selection (in the vineyards, by a vibrating machine, and finally by humans).
Unless you have seen a sorting table, it may be difficult to understand how important careful sorting is. One bad grape can literally spoil the flavor of wine, so the higher the selection the closer to perfection the wine can be.
When asked what’s new this year, Anne announces her association with Jeanne-Marie de Champs of Domaines et Saveurs Collection, based on a long term friendship as well as Jeanne-Marie’s mastery of the American market.
We taste wine from Anne’s various holdings, each very typical of its own region. Though young, the wines have so much structure and elegance one can only imagine what they’d be like when mature … and hundreds of dollars each on wine lists around the world.