Joseph Drouhin are a family own Domaines and Negociant who command the greatest respect of all the big Burgundy houses. Their knowledge of the land combined with their attention to details in the vineyards as well as their gentle wine making style results in very fine Burgundy that reflect its origin. Little use of new oak, gentle extraction and whole bunch fermentation according to the year or the cuvee are whole part of their belief that good burgundy can't be made by firm hand of the winemaker. The crown jewels in the Drouhin portfolio are without doubt the Domaine Marquis de Laguiche, which has the largest percentage of land in Le Montrachet (30%) of all the owners, and the Domaine Drouhin-owned Clos des Mouches. Drouhin have had exclusive control over the former estate, from cultivation to distribution, since 1947, while Clos des Mouches is one of those rare breeds in Burgundy, a monopole. Originally planted with Pinot Noir, almost half the vineyard was replanted with Chardonnay in 1921 by Maurice Drouhin.
Bourgogne or Burgundy is a wide-ranging generic appellation in eastern France that has been planted with the vine at least since Roman times, the earliest archaeological evidence coming from 2nd Century A.D. The region, now spanning up to 28,000 hectares, owes a lot to the work of Cistercian Monks in the 11th and 12th Centuries, particularly in the Côte d'Or, who were responsible for identifying some of the finest vineyard plots still in existence today. The appellation is large, stretching between the cities of Auxerre in the North and Lyon in the south and includes Chablis, the Côte d'Or (from where hail some of the world's finest examples of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), the Chalonnais, Maconnais and Beaujolais. Chardonnay is the main white grape planted, though there is still a fair amount of Aligote to be found if an ever decreasing amount, as well as tiny proportions of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Beurrot. For quality reds Pinot Noir is the dominant grape and the only permitted variety for the "Bourgogne Rouge" appellation controlee, there are plantings of Gamay too, though, which can be blended with a minimum one third Pinot Noir to make "Bourgogne Passetoutgrain." There is also the rarely seen Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, which may include the Pinot Noir, Gamay, César, and Tressot varieties. This appellation also exists for whites, allowing a blend of Chardonnay, Aligoté and Melon de Bourgogne. Being such a big area style can vary enormously: From the steely, minerally white Bourgognes near Chablis to the rounder, more buttery offerings in the Maconnais. Very fine and extremely good value examples of red and white Bourgognes are made by many of the high quality estates in the Côte d'Or, the designated "Bourgogne" vineyards here being on the flatter less well-drained terrain the other side of the RN74 road to the villages and 1er Cru appellations. Some Bourgogne Rosé can also made be made but this is a tiny fraction of the red and white wine production.