During my visit to Beaune this summer, Joseph Voillot was my first visit. It was funny because I emailed them thinking I would probably get the same response as I’d been getting from all other producers saying: “we are closed, we do not take visits”, etc etc. However, he replied that we were welcome to visit and voila: he was penciled in.
I walked around Volnay looking for him, first at what looked like the wine cellar and then at what looked like his house. I rang the bell and a woman (I think maybe his mother) opened. In my terribly limited french I tried to explain I had an appointment. She disappeared into the house and a few minutes later Mr. Voillot was there!
He came directly from the vineyards in his tractor. He lead the way through this very tiny door into a small tasting room. There I tasted through his wines while we had a strange conversation in french/english/gibberish. It’s not easy carrying on a conversation when neither speaks the others language. But we managed and I actually learned a little more about wine. It was a truly fantastic experience and I hope to meet him again soon.
It’s not as easy to get visits with winemakers in Beaune as it is in Barolo, but I was lucky enough to get us in at Michel Lafarge. Personally I do not have a lot of experience with the wines, but I follow the family and winery on social media and know a little about them through there. We were greeted by Frédéric Lafarge, who along with his father now runs the winery. The first thing he did was take us into the vineyards, which has to be one of my favorite things to do when I visit a winery.
While in the vineyard he explained the idea of the Clos, as he has his own Clos “Clos du Château des Ducs”. For those who do not know, it just means that it’s a “monopoly” vineyard that is fenced in. He also tried to show us some mildew, as it is a problem in certain years, but luckily for him and his wines he could not find any.
Inside the winery in the cellar we tasted quite a few wines, both from barrel and bottle. What I find interesting about wine tasting in Bourgogne is that you stand up the whole time. In Barolo, you almost always sit down, at least for part of the tasting. In honesty I don’t remember all the wines we tasted, as I forgot to write it down and was unable to take pictures because we tasted directly from the barrel, but the wines were very good! And I hope to come back and visit again!