Maison Albert Bichot
The Bichot family have a long history in Burgundy, having settled there in 1350. It was almost five centuries later, in 1831, that Bernard Bichot established a wine trading business in MonthÃ©lie, on the CÃ´te de Beaune. Bernard's son Hippolyte bought the family's first vines in Volnay, and it was with the next generation that the family business settled into the city of Beaune, where it remains today.
Under the direction of current owner AlbÃ©ric Bichot, the business has gone from strength to strength. Mirroring the trend in Burgundy towards domaine bottled wines, Maison Albert Bichot has slowly been acquiring land. They now own six estates: Domaine Long-Depaquit in Chablis, Domaine du Clos-Frantin and ChÃ¢teau Gris in Nuits-st-Georges, Domaine du Pavillon in Pommard, Domaine AdÃ©lie in Mercurey and Domaine de RochegrÃ¨s in Moulin Ã Vent.
Each of these domaines is equipped with its own winery, ensuring minimal time between picking and pressing - an important factor in the quality of the final product. The village wines are produced at the large central winery at the business's headquarters in Beaune. In addition to the wines Maison Albert Bichot produce at their own estates, they continue to work in the traditional Burgundian role of a nÃ©gociant - buying grapes from local vignerons and making them into Albert Bichot wines. There are a total of seventy of these local vignerons, with whom Maison Albert Bichot has long-standing relationships - crucial for the maintenance of quality.
Sustainability is fundamental to AlbÃ©ric Bichot's philosophy. All the vineyards Maison Albert Bichot owns in the CÃ´te d'Or and CÃ´te Chalonnaise are certified organic, with trials underway at Domaine Depaquit in Chablis. In his own words: "We must never forget that wine is a luxury product, not a necessity. We can get by without luxuries, especially if they are harmful. It is totally reasonable that society expects grape growers to be accountable for the pesticides they use. In the vineyard we need a change of mindset."
A family business with a long history but an eye on the future, Maison Albert Bichot is, and will surely continue to be, one of Burgundy's most influential producers.