Ensconced in the village of Solutré, close to the famous Rock (where François Mitterand used to like to take a gander) Domaine Des Gerbeaux is owned and run by the wife & husband team of Béatrice and Jean-Michel Drouin, who started the domaine in 1979. The Drouins have been making wine in Burgundy for over a century and Jean-Michel is producing some of the best and most distinctive wines in the Mâconnais region, but in very small quantities (barely 5,000 cases a year). Béatrice also comes from a vineyard owning family and between them they have a collection of over forty small parcels of vines spread around Mâcon, St. Véran, Pouilly, and Solutré: six hectares altogether of prime vineyard sites. These include Champs Roux, Pouilly and Vers Cras.
Great care is taken over the harvest and vinification: harvesting is entirely by hand using small baskets, no pesticides or herbicides are used and fermentation temperature control is rigorous. These are generous, fruit-laden wines characterised by grapefruit and mineral flavours that can hold their own against much of the fancy Côte de Beaune. Jean-Michel is obsessive about every aspect of his winemaking. Viticulture is organic in all but name and fermentation temperatures are unusually low (fermentation starts around 18ºC and the fermenting juice is then rapidly chilled down to 9 or 10ºC) to retain as much freshness and fruit as possible.