Bruno Clair founded his 56-acre domaine in Marsannay, in Burgundy’s Cote de Nuits, in 1979. He is the son of Bernard Clair and the grandson of Joseph Clair, who founded the celebrated Domaine Clair-Dau in 1919. Since striking out on his own more than 30 years ago, Bruno Clair has added vineyards to the domaine, which now includes Grand Crus in Chambertin and Corton-Charlemagne. The domaine also has Premier Crus in Gevrey-Chambertin, including the monopole Clos du Fonteny, and in Savigny-les-Beaune. The estate’s flagship wines are its Clos de Beze, Bonnes-Mares and Corton-Charlemagne, though it also makes numerous, well-reviewed red, white and rose village wines. Clive Coates calls Clair “a meticulous winemaker, anxious above all for purity and elegance….This is now one of the top domaines in Burgundy.”
Côte de Nuits is the northern part of the Côte d’Or and it includes the most famous vineyards and wine communes in the world. There are more Grand Cru appellations in the Côte de Nuits than anywhere else in Burgundy. Of the fourteen communes, or villages in the Côte de Nuits, six produce Grand Cru wines. They are Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St.-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Flagey-Échezeaux and Vosne-Romanee. Some of the vineyards within the Côte de Nuits are tiny, which adds to their prestige. The fabled Grand Cru vineyard La Romanee is barely two square acres. Altogether there are twenty-four Grand Cru vineyards. The region takes its name from the village of Nuits-Saint-Georges. Côtes de Nuits produces mostly reds from Pinot Noir, and the wines have been in demand for centuries. During the 18th century King Louis XIV’s physician recommended that for his health the king only drink wines from Nuits-Saint-Georges. Like most of Burgundy, the soils of the Côte de Nuit can vary greatly from one vineyard to another, though most are a base soil of limestone mixed with clay, gravel and sand.
This white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.