A French Family Winery in the 6th Generation
Domaine Charles François & Fils in Nantoux near Beaune, Pascal Charles and his daughter Pauline manages 14 hectares of vines. The Domaine has been in winemaking business for six generations already. Like his father François, Pascal is committed to using traditional techniques such as hand harvesting. François renovated the estate in the 1960s. In the 1980s Pascal joined his father shortly before the older man retired and take care of the winery until nowadays. They bought new plots, which they mostly replanted.
A unique Approach to Fermentation in Ancient Clay Pots
Pascal firmly believes that aging is an important part of the winemaking process. He ages his wines in oak barrels after a 10–15-day period in vats. These are no ordinary barrels, however. Pascal had in his winery his copper custom-make barrels that are more narrow at the top than at the base. According to the winemaker, this reduces the number of lees during fermentation. He also ages some wine in Roman-style 500-liter terracotta pots made in Tuscany and transported to their winery. Pairing food and wine is a passion of both Pascal and Pauline. During blending of the wines there is always a focus on which foods they will best compliment.
An Impressive List of Classifications and Several Styles of Wine
Domaine Charles winery produces wine from grapes in 16 appellations. These include Meursault, Bourgogne Aligoté, Volnay and 4 Premiers Crus. In true Burgundy tradition, they use mostly Pinot Noir, and Gamay to a lesser extent, for the reds and Chardonnay for the whites. Their Vendange d’Automne is a sweet white wine from Chardonnay grapes from several vineyards in Hauts Côtes de Beaune appellations. However, they cannot market it under this appellation because the sugar content is too high.