It’s always a pleasure to visit Domaine Parent, where the lively Anne Parent can always be relied upon to host some of the most generous tours and tastings in Burgundy.
The first time I was a recipient of her hospitality was on a trip organized by the BIVB to kick off the Hospices de Beaune weekend. Domaine Parent was one of the first wineries our small group was to visit, and I still remember the enchantment I felt walking down the steep steps to the ancient cave, where barrels of wine quietly aged.
This last visit to her cellar was still enchanting, yet there was a happy new barrel addition in honor of Anne’s first grandchild, Louis!
Aside from actively managing and promoting the family chateau with her sister Catherine, Anne is extremely active in the Beaune wine world. Though she began her career studying Private Law at Dijon University She is a founder of Founder of the association Femmes et Vins de Bourgogne (Women and Wines of Burgundy) , • President of the national association called “Femmes de vin” (Women of wine), French foreign trade advisor. Chevalier de l’ordre de la Légion d’honneur, and Chevalier du Tastevin … along with numerous other accolades.
While there are so many important things to know about the domaine, one of the most important (aside from the focus on quality in every area of the business) is the way vineyard management is now oriented towards a bio-dynamic and organic approach. The more I study the principles of biodynamic viticulture, and the more I taste the wine from vignerons who apply the principles correctly, I can really taste a difference in the wine. Of course, it is more complex than that, as it ties in with the overall health of the vineyard and ecosystem.
As we tasted through the many wines (one of my favorites was the Corton Blanc 2016) Anne told a very funny story from 1999, when she was more naïve than today. As the story goes, a salesman came to call, trying to sell her a new fertilizer. The salesman made a show of looking at her vines and telling her exactly what the vines needed.
Curious to find out for herself, Anne had a proper analysis done and realized everything he said was wrong, that he was making suggestions without even knowing the levels. That was the first inkling she had that she needed to go the organic/biodynamic route. Domaine Parent has been certified organic in 2013 (ECOCERT Certification). So far, it is working out well!
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