Passion for Pommard
Winemaking in Pommard began to first blossom when Benedictine monks planted the first Pinot Noir root stocks. It wasn't long before Pommard emerged as one of the first villages in Burgundy to become renowned for fine Pinot Noir. The village of Polmarium refines it name to Pommard around this time too, after it is first mentioned in the history books in 1005, as or Polmareo.
Dukes of Burgundy
The beginning of Château de Pommard dates back to the High Middle Ages. Eudes I, the first of many Dukes of Burgundy, built a fortress at a site near to today's Château Micault, and established his lordship in the village. The Dukes' duty was to spread the word of Burgundy wine and be a beacon of Burgundy culture around the world. It was also during this period that Pommard's wine received the compliment
The first of the Micault dynasty to put down roots in Pommard was the great Captain of Pommard, Phillibert Micault. He received the title as a reward for his courage against Charles X, the last Bourbon King of France. During this period, Pommard's wines were considered harsh, rustic, and of a very clear color, but already enjoyed a good reputation.
The Provenance of Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir, the noble grape that grows in Clos Marey-Monge, receives its iconic name around this time. The name is borrowed from the French words for pine and black; the pine refers to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.
Most Beautiful House
Vivant Micault, a descendent of one of the oldest noble families of Pommard and, later, secretary to King Louis XV, inherits half the vineyards and buildings of the Pommard estate. With his wife, Catherine Nugues, Vivant orders architect Charles-Étienne Briseux to build an impressive Regency-style Château out of Chassagne-Montrachet pink limestone. It would become the first manor of Château de Pommard and, in 1782, is described as the most beautiful country house of the province.
France's Famous Mathematician
Gaspard Monge, France's acclaimed mathematician, emissary to Napoleon's armies in Egypt and father of Jeanne Charlotte Émilie Monge, the industrious first female guardian of the Pommard estate, is born in Beaune. It was during Gaspard's earliest years growing up in Beaune that the city began its return to prosperity, thanks to the burgeoning wine trade. In 1764, after studying at Lyon's Collège de la Trinité – where at the age of just 17 he was already teaching a course in physics – Gaspard Monge returned to Beaune.
A New Generation
Our founder, Vivant Micault, bequeaths his Pommard estate, and the winemaking facilities and production, to his sons, Joseph and Jean. The brothers decide to auction the estate between them amicably. Joseph became the sole owner of Château de Pommard, buying the property outright from Jean for the sum of 90,000 francs. Jean Micault was guillotined, in the centre of Dijon, in 1794.
Meet the Famous Mr Marey
Following in his father's wine-seller footsteps, Claude Marey became the first wine merchant to promote the true majesty of Burgundy wines around the globe. In 1763, he purchases the Pommard estate from Joseph Micault, eldest son of Vivant. By all historical accounts, Claude Marey was a kind and generous Burgundian, content with the everyday duties as the squire of Pommard.
Nicolas-Joseph, the Youngest Son
Claude Marey shares his fortune with his two sons, Claude-Philibert and Nicolas-Joseph. Claude-Philibert inherits his father's vineyards and property in Nuits-Saint-Georges. Nicolas-Joseph inherits the Pommard Château, its winemaking facilities and the vineyards. The Pommard estate is valued at 309, 876 francs.
Start of a Revolution
In the build up to storming of the Bastille, and following the massacre of local nobility, which saw the burning down of nearby prominent châteaux – a defining symbol of aristocracy – Nicolas-Joseph Marey sells Château Vivant Micault quickly, to Mr Desbarres, for a mere 25,000 francs. A savvy businessman, Nicolas-Joseph retained ownership of the vineyards, cellars, and outbuildings. The French revolution begins.
A Marriage Made in Pommard
The quiet revolutionary, Nicolas-Joseph Marey marries Jeanne Charlotte Émilie Monge, daughter of French mathematician Gaspard Monge and Marie-Catherine Huart, at a ceremony in Pommard. Their unison begins the Marey-Monge dynasty, a name that is still revered throughout the region. The couple's affection for Clos Marey-Monge's vines and wines is clear to see. They retained ownership of the vineyard, and more than 160 other parcels of land, despite the growing terror against land-owning aristocracy at the start of the French Revolution.
Sale of the Century
Château Vivant Micault is sold to Agathe Rose Dambrun de Joursanvault. Desperate to recover and reunite his father's château with his vineyard, Nicolas-Joseph Marey offers Agathe Rose 100,000 francs – four times more than he had sold it for – but his offer is refused. The estate would now remain divided until 1936.
A New Château
Unable to purchase Château Vivant Micault back from Agathe Rose, Nicolas-Joseph Marey begins construction on a second stately house on the estate, Château Marey-Monge, a mere 200 footsteps to the north. In 1804, Château Marey-Monge's 50-meter carriage driveway is installed with an iron gate, along the Route des Grand Crus. It's still there.
The Blue Room
Napoleon Bonaparte, a dear friend of the Marey-Monge family during the Napoleonic Wars, was known to stay at Château Marey-Monge during this time, over a period of years. He even had his own room, the Blue Room, installed with a blue porcelain toilet, blue wallpaper and bath.
Fire and Taste
It is thanks to correspondence between Marie-Catherine Monge, Émilie's mother, that we learn a fascinating insight into Nicolas-Joseph's and Émilie's winemaking practices. In a letter dated 1811, Nicolas-Joseph wrote, "We buy brown sugar to awaken sad grapes. It's not too much to cover the raw green and the flatness of the wine. We must take to the grocer what providence will probably not give us this year: fire and taste." Through these letters we learn that Madame Monge was a noted Burgundy wine ambassador often sending bottles of Pommard to Paris for her friends to savor. After Nicolas-Joseph's death, and for the final 30 years of her life, Marie-Catherine would spend much time in Pommard to support her daughter with the harvest and winemaking.
The Second Chateau
Designed by Parisian architect Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand, the second Château of the estate, Château Marey-Monge, was completed this year. The architecture reflects the principles and personality of Nicolas-Joseph: no sculptures, no superfluous ornaments – just down-to-earth functionality, respecting the purest traditions of Burgundian values.
Our cherished enclosure – a wall that shapes Burgundy's largest monopole – is built. Local legend speaks of the the tale that Nicolas-Joseph Marey offered a new pair of boots, and soup, to any neighbor in the village who helped him build the 20-hectare, two-meter-tall wall, stone by stone.
A Sense of Place
Though the word 'Terroir' started to become common in the 17th century, it was not until 1831, thanks to Dr Denis Morelot, that it became a worshipped term throughout Burgundy. A wealthy landowner in Burgundy, Morelot could not understand why, if all the wines in Burgundy were made in essentially the same way, how there could be such vast differences in quality and flavors. His now-celebrated work into terroir became the inspiration for Dr Jules Lavalle, in 1855.
A Son's Duty
Following the death of his mother, Émilie, at the age of 89, Guillaume-Stanislas becomes owner of Château Marey-Monge and the Clos. A soldier, war hero, and original personality, Guillaume-Stanislas' impressive collection of artillery and weaponry remained on display in Château Micault until the Detourbet sale of 1926. His beloved, and very big, Arabian horse was buried in Clos Marey-Monge's Nadine plot, creating a huge mound that could be seen from the Beaune road.
Dr Jules Lavalle
General Guillaume-Stanislas Marey-Monge, the eldest child of Nicolas-Joseph and Émilie welcomes Dr Jules Lavalle, a leading expert of Burgundy's terroirs, to inspect the Clos' soils. Lavalle goes on to publish his Histoire et Statistique de la Vignes et Des Grands Vins de la Côte d'Or, a comprehensive ranking of the region's terroirs. Lavalle's publication certified Clos Marey-Monge première cuvée, today's premier cru.
The Great French Wine Blight
Destroying nearly all of the vineyards in France, the aphid Phylloxera first made its way to Burgundy from America on steamships. Two French wine producers, Leo Laliman and Gaston Bazille, propose the nation’s vines be grafted to American rootstock, which were known to be resistant to the Phylloxera. French wine growers loathed the idea but there was no other option. This period, known as the Reconstitution, saved the French wine industry from the brink of oblivion.
The Thunder Cellar
Our 800-meter-long cellar, hidden underneath the cobbled courtyards above are, for the first time, given a name: “Thunder Cellar”. We still call it that today. It had previously between referred to as “Hollow Tile”. The cellar maintains a year-round temperature between 55 °F and 60 °F (13.0 °C and 15.5 °C) – the optimal condition for wine storage and aging. The cellar maintains a naturally cool temperature due to the Avant-Dheune river that flows down from the hills of Pommard. First built between 1720 and 1730, our cellar has been modified and restored several times since.
Premieré Cuvée Classification
Following in the literal footsteps of Dr Jules Lavalle, noted soil authorities Rene Danguy and Charles Aubertin announce in their book, Les Grand Vins de Bourgogne (La Côte d’Or), agree that Clos Marey-Monge’s terroirs are indeed premiére cuvée.
A Century in Chantrerie
Clos Marey-Monge's oldest vines, located in the Chantrerie plot, are planted this year. Today they are more than a 110 years' old, producing a grape of superior quality. The average age of vines in the Clos are more than 45 years. In wine, age is beauty.
The de Blic Family
Edîth Marey-Monge, in possession of the estate since age 19, marries Hervé de Blic, a man with an illustrious background from the prestigious de Blic family, one of the oldest feudal and military nobilities of Burgundy. Upon her husband's death, Edîth handed the reigns of the estate to her son Emmanuel de Blic, the last remaining member of the Marey-Monge family. Emmanuel was born on the grounds of the Château. After Edîth's death, Emmanuel sells the estate to Charles-Georges d'Epinay.
The Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in Pommard is created. Pommard is one of the first villages to be designated AOC for red wine. The AOC is created to ensure that wine with a long history and a deep-rooted sense of provenance retain their identity in the marketplace and ensure no other wines, or products, can carry the name Pommard.
The Era of Laplanche
Louis Laplanche, a prominent wine merchant from Beaune, and his wife Albertine, both from very old Burgundy negociant families, purchase the Pommard estate. Their son, Jean-Louis Laplanche, 12 years old at the time, would later become the most original and philosophically informed French psychoanalytic theorist of his day.
Full of Flavor
Our 1.5ha plot, Paules Vieilles, part of the Les Paules parcel designation, is planted. The 98 rows, or rangs, form the backbone of Clos Marey-Monge's flavors and are now revered as some of the oldest vines in the Clos.
Two Châteaux Reunited
At an enormous personal cost, Jean and Nadine Laplanche fulfilled a life-long dream and reunited the two Châteaux with Clos Marey-Monge for the first time since the eve of the French Revolution 180 years earlier, after purchasing Château Micault from the sons of George d'Epinay.
Providing the backbone of the acclaimed flavors and aromas of Clos Marey-Monge, the Grand Champs plot was planted in 1982. Making up more than 25 per cent of the Clos, Grand Champs is more than 220 rows, just under 4ha.
The Enchantress, Simone
The soul of Clos Marey-Monge, the jewel in our crown, the Simone plot, receives new vines, now more than 30 years old. However, we still don't know from whom Simone gets her name. Do you know?
“I make wine in a style connected to mankind. I make tannic wines, with long finishes, and a fermentation of three weeks. The wine only truly becomes my child after seven years,” so said Jean Laplanche in 1996.
Oak to Steel Fermentation
Following the purchase of the estate by the Giraud family, the first element of the winemaking process to be modernized was the change between French Oak foudres, wooden barrels, to stainless steel fermentation vats. Mr Laplanche had always sought to retain French Oak fermentation, but Maurice Giraud wanted to revolutionize the wine’s reputation and increase the hygiene standards in the wine’s production.
21st Century Pommard
The Giraud family become the propriétaires of Château de Pommard. A man with an enormous passion and panache for winemaking, culture, art and the legacy of the Clos, it was Maurice Giraud who bought Château de Pommard into the 21st century. The real-estate entrepreneur reestablished Clos Marey-Monge’s first-class reputation and developed “a Grand Vin of Burgundy as great as the historical walls that watch it grow every year.”
Finest Wines in 300 Years
A man tasked with the immense pressure to put Château de Pommard's wine back on the map, the Giraud family's shrewd decision in appointing Emmanuel Sala as technical director, and head winemaker, has worked wonders. An intuitive and passionate winemaker, and native Burgundian, Emmanuel's tenure has yielded the finest wines ever made in the history of the estate. His philosophy is simple: Elevate the vintage, listen to nature and never upset the natural balance.
Science Confirms Intuition
A passionate belief in Clos Marey-Monge's natural magic saw the Giraud family employ Lydia and Claude Bourguignon, respected specialists in viticulture, in 2009. The Bourguignon's put Clos Marey-Monge's terroir to the test, and under the microscope. Their chemical and biological analysis confirmed that the plots Simone and Chantrerie have two of the highest clay density levels on record in Burgundy. Similar levels have been found only in two Côte de Nuits grand crus: Richebourg and Musigny.
Visions for the Future
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Michael Baum and his wife, Julie Carabello, become the fifth family to preserve, protect and expand Château de Pommard. Sharing a passionate zeal for nature, culture, wine, and living and loving life, the Carabello-Baum family acquired the estate with one goal: to ensure the long-term future of Clos Marey-Monge. Since 2014, the Carabello-Baum family have strengthened ties and relationships with local winemakers and influencers, and have begun the most exciting chapter yet in the estate's 300-year history.
UNESCO Grand Sponsor
In 2015, the 1,247 climats of Burgundy vineyards attained the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage status for Humanity, for their Exceptional Universal Value. As Grand Sponsor, the Carabello-Baum family are proud to have played their part in securing such an honorable accolade.
A Biodynamic Adventure
To reconnect the Clos with its ancient roots, the Carabello-Baum family, alongside the winemaking Team, begin Clos Marey-Monge's conversion to biodynamic viticulture. In collaboration with oenologist and agronomic specialist, Antoine Lepetit de la Bigne, the conversion is currently being rolled out throughout the vineyard. The first organic vintage will be available in 2022.
Brotherhood of Pommard
On January 28, 2017, at La Table du Vigneron, Pommard, Michael Baum was enthroned into the winemaking brotherhood of Pommard, a fraternity first established in 1983. Conducted by the Grand Council of the Bailliage, the ceremony saw Michael swear an oath to uphold the values of the association and promote the wines of Pommard throughout the world, be knighted by a vine and awarded with a medal. The evening was accompanied by traditional Pommardoise choir
Geology and History
As we entered into our 291st year with a rejuvenated sense of pride and purpose, Emmanuel Sala and Michael Baum ordered a comprehensive geological study and history of Clos Marey-Monge's soils and subsoils and analysis of our landscape's ancient formation. The study took Clos Marey-Monge 150 million years back in time to the Jurassic Age, when a shallow tropical sea covered the land. As a result, today, we can identify 7 diverse soil types in the vineyard and how they were formed.
The Future of Burgundy
Château de Pommard's adventure into the future has been building to one moment – 2017 – a year full of change, continuation and cause for celebration. The year will see us broaden our horizons, deliver wine to more of our devoted customers abroad, the installation of a new and super-modern cuverie, as well as introduce more bespoke educational wine experiences onsite. Breathing new life into a centuries-old winery is keeping us busy, but with one eye on the future we intend to safeguard the success of the Château for another 300 years. Watch this space...