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Domaine Ramonet produces 24 Appellation wines from 40 Acres located primarily near the hamlets of Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet in the southern part of the Côte de Beaune region in Burgundy. Parcels of vineyards were progressively acquired since the first acquisition in 1934, the most recent being Bouzeron in the Côte Chalonnaise.
The Montrachet vineyard, at an altitude of 820 to 885 feet, produces the finest expression of the Chardonnay grape anywhere on earth. It owes its name to Mont-Rachet or Bald Hill as the soils are poor, thin and lie on hard limestones traversed by a layer of reddish marls, with the best slope in its area versus the other neighboring Grands Crus. Its origin dates back to the Middle Ages in the 15th Century. Its status was first recognized as a Grand Cru in 1937, which was subsequently cemented in the mid-20th century with a number of great vintages.
Buying into a Montrachet plot of land was usually something that only the most wealthy and ambitious producers attempted, but Ramonet’s purchase in 1978 is one of the most legendary stories in Burgundy. When Père Ramonet, 72 years of age, grandfather of Noël & Jean-Claude, walked into a lawyer’s office in Beaune, he paid entirely in cash and then excused himself to return to the familiarity of his vineyards and cellar.
The good spring weather gave rise to rapid fruit set, followed by a classic summer and a warm start to autumn. However, there was little green harvest at the time, so the resulting harvest was enormous. Pinot Noir is very sensitive to high production and, despite the ideal growing conditions, this affected the character of the vintage. Red wines were light and offered immediate drinking pleasure early in their life; whites did much better because Chardonnay is less sensitive to high cultivation levels. The best climates could still hold some surprises.