At Butterfield Wine, we’re proud to be part of 2,000 years of ongoing wine history and culture. We’re active participants in the movement toward environmental respect and common sense in grape growing and winemaking, which ultimately plays a part in sustaining the dynamic of Burgundy. The remarkable advances in wine science in the last 40 years has allowed a much deeper understanding of the process of transformation from grapes to wine; however it’s the parts that we can’t dissect scientifically that create the real underlying fascination with Burgundy – the mystery remains unchanged.
Burgundy views itself through the notion of terroir – the concept that grapes grown in a specific place will yield a wine of individual style with identifiable aromas and a unique energy. Some surface level factors that help explain “terroir” include, soil types, exposure to sun and slope, annual rainfall and human intervention. However, it is the somewhat “non-tangible”elements like the telluric energy of a particular site, its history, the micro-organisms that share the space or the demineralization of the bedrock (to greater or lesser extents absorbed by the root system) that effect the terroir the most and what unquestionably lies beneath the real mystery of the individuality of Burgundy. With over 100 appellations (specific geographic delineations) of a total of 400 in France, over 600 climats (sub-sections of the appellations) and only one primary grape variety per colour (Pinot Noir for reds and its son Chardonnay for whites) to express those appellations, each one ultimately produces wines of an incredible intrinsic diversity. The appellation system in Burgundy is one of a hierarchy (in descending order: Grand Cru, 1er Cru, village and regional) where history and observation (tasting) have allowed a deep understanding of the land through the force gathered in the vine over time. This is the beauty and the magic that draws people from all corners of the earth to continue to explore and deepen their understanding of this passionate process.