Discover Burgundy. Domaine Trapet-Rochelandet - a young venture from a historical appellation

Old manual wine press in Burgundy in Domaine Trapet Rochelandet still in use for producing Gevrey-Chambertin wine from La Petit Chapelle vineyard
this old press is used for La Petite Chapelle - their vineyard is so small, that they can't use a modern press, they're all too big :)

Domaine Trapet-Rochelandet is the fresh air of Gevrey-Chambertin. They started selling their wine, bottled under their own domaine name just 5 years ago. Today, Laurent Rochelandet leads the estate of 6,5 ha - part of the vineyards were the former Domaine François Trapet, other part - belonged to Laurent's mother. I met all the trio - Laurent, his wife and mother. When I arrived the ladies were very busy at the cellar with visitors and tastings, although in harvest time they do come out to the field. Everyone gets secateurs here! That's why secateurs is on this family-estate's label.

When I arrived the ladies were very busy at the cellar with visitors and tastings, although in harvest time they do come out to the field. Everyone gets secateurs here! That's why secateurs is on this family-estate's label.

Laurent's mother was pushing for bottling at the estate for long time. Before Laurent's father was selling bulk wine or directly grapes to merchants. The family was really close to establishing their own domaine and selling wines under their label before 2010, however, Laurent's father sickness put on pause most of the initiatives.

Old wine press in Gevrey-Chambertin at Domaine Trapet Rochelandet in Burgundy seen during a winery tour and tasting
another rarity at the cellar - the realities of boutique wine production

2013 was the year of changes for the family - large scale bottling begun, even though they weren't completely ready to face the workflow. Consistency in production was missing and the last 5 years were dedicated to setting their standards. Simple things that were crucial to set:

  • Who's going to harvest? Seasonal workers didn't prove to be reliable as once you noticed that grapes are mature you must harvest immediately. Currently the domaine collaborates with a third-party company that always has available harvest workers.

  • Oak or stainless steel? They prefer to avoid new oak and mature their wines either in stainless steel (like Vieilles Vignes) or in 1-2 years old barrels (La Petit Chapelle).

  • Customers... Anne (Laurent's wife) told me that it will take them another 10 years to switch purely to selling 100% of their wine under their own label, once they establish long-term relationships with customers. Currently, half of their Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru (so 2 barrels out of 4) is sold in bulk to merchants.

Wines of Domaine Trapet-Rochelandet

Domaine Trapet-Rochelandet 1er Cru Bel Air wine tasting of Gevrey-Chambertin wines
With 1er Cru Bel Air already at home

Les Champs Chenys - a long parcel that stretches from village to Grand Cru appellation, right next to Charmes. Mainly black fruit character here, blackcurrant and lots of mineral notes with a long finish. Vieilles Vignes - a blend of 4 parcels - Platieres, Murots, Croix des Champs, Creux Brouillard. All of them are located across the route nationale (see rout D974 on the map below), so no Grand or Premier Cru nearby. Average age of the vines is 40 years. Obviously, this is not the most complex Gevrey-Chambertin, it's on flat land. Laurent decided to vinify it only in tank, focusing on natural freshness, crisp fruits, fine tannins and gentle expression of Gevrey character.

Gevrey-Chambertin AOC appellation map with Grand Cru, Premier Cru and Village vineyard climats
he D974 national route crosses the appellation - below the route - AOC Village, above - Grand Cru, Premier Cru and Village vineyards

Premier Cru Bel-Air has a restrained character, it's one of the few Premier Crus at the top of the slope. You can feel that the wine comes from a cooler place, grapes ripen later as they're right next to the forest. As a result a very stony, sharp wine. Premier Cru La Petite Chapelle is very different. Located right next to Chapelle Grand Cru, it's a charming and elegant wine with lots of fine roundness. A wine that feels comfortable in mouth, you want to drink more of it.

they don't do wine assembly, even if it's a Village wine, don't add yeasts or enzymes

vineyards in Gevrey-Chambertin during a wine study trip to Burgundy visiting Domaine Trapet Rochelandet
because without the terroir it's just another Pinot Noir wine

High Environmental Value certification

Domaine Trapet-Rochelandet are now at the final stage of gaining the High Environmental Value certification. It's a French organisation that aims to encourage vignerons to focus on biodiversity of their vineyards. It means that they count their bugs, control the vegetation, plough and act only when the vine requires that. They don't use any additives - yeast, enzyme, tannin, oak chips and follow the old rules of winemaking, even though being a young winery. Personally for me, the most important fact was that they don't do wine assembly, even if it's a Village wine. Thus all the terroir expression is kept. The domaine participates in the wine bottle recovery program initiated by General Council of Cote d'Or. The aim is to reuse the old bottles, rather than producing new ones.

Join me on my upcoming winery visits to sustainable, organic and biodynamic wineries around Europe. I promise you small-scale, family-run wineries with wonderfully tasting and limited edition wines.

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