This Beaune-based domaine is one of the largest and most venerable in Burgundy. It was founded in 1731 by Michel Bouchard as a textile sales and distribution company. But twenty years later Michel’s son Joseph acquired vineyards in Volnay in the famous Les Caillerets climat and started producing wine. Over the centuries the family continued to acquire exceptional vineyards throughout the Côte d’Or. For nine generations the Bouchard family ran the estate, creating notable wines, and ran their own negociant business. In 1986 the Bouchards built a new state-of-the-art facility and in 1995 they sold the estate to the French Champagne house Joseph Henriot. With more than 300 acres of vineyards in various parts of Burgundy, Bouchard Pere et Fils produces Grand Crus, Premiers Crus and other wines. It makes red and white Burgundies and is especially well-known for Grand Cru Chardonnays.
Pernand-Vergelesses is an 870-acre appellation sometimes overshadowed by its famous neighbor to the east, Aloxe-Corton. Depending on the time of the day, Le Montagne de Corton literally casts a shadow over of the village of Pernand-Vergelesses, which has fewer than 400 people. Pernand-Vergelesses appellation wines can be red or white, and its most renowned wines are the Grand Crus it shares with its neighbor Aloxe-Corton. About 25% of the Grand Cru vineyard Corton-Charlemagne is within the Pernand-Vergelesses appellation. There are six Premiers Crus, they produce much of the wine of Pernand-Vergelesses and nearly 75% of what they produce is Pinot Noir. Many of the vineyards face northeast, meaning that inhospitable weather can be particularly challenging for growers. Robert M. Parker Jr. notes “in good vintages a top Premier Cru Pernand-Vergelesses will be a relatively rich, rustic, concentrated wine that is often compared to that of its nearby neighbor, Savigny-Lès-Beaune.”
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.