Moillard is an historic name in the Côte d’Or. But as a label it has often been confusing. The domaine started in 1848 when a young man named Symphorien Moillard married Margueritte Grivot, the daughter of a vineyard owner. In the many generations since then new vineyards were acquired, older parcels divided up for inheritance, and in true Burgundian style labels were often modified to reflect generational changes in the management of the domaine, or new parts of the domaine. Labels have included Thomas-Moillard, Moillard, Moillard-Grivot and Maison Moillard. By the early 21st century the estate had become a major player in the Côte d’Or, as a producer and a negociant. However today the Moillard extended family no longer owns the domaine or the maison. With more than 65 shareholders, most of them family members, disagreements arose and in 2005 some 30 acres of prime vineyards were sold off to Domaine Dujac and Etienne de Montille. In 2008 the remainder of Molliard was sold to Vincent Sauvestre, a major producer, negociant and land owner in Burgundy and elsewhere. Sauvestre owns the negociant Jean-Baptiste Béjot and more than 740 acres throughout Burgundy, Provence and Languedoc.
Volnay is a small appellation with just 904 vineyard acres and a town of fewer than 500 residents. Nevertheless, to Burgundy enthusiasts, it's a jewel. Clive Coates calls Volnay “one of the most delightful wines and one of the most rewarding communes in the Côte d’Or.” Robert M. Parker Jr. described Volnay as “the queen of the Côte de Beaune.” Volnay has always been appealing. In the 13th and 14th centuries the powerful Dukes of Burgundy acquired land there and built chateaux. The medieval town sits on the hillside above the vineyards and the appellation is restricted to red wines made of Pinot Noir. Though there are no Grands Crus, there are 35 Premiers Crus. Some reviewers say the lighter soil of Volnay, compared with Pommard to the north, makes Volnay wines more delicate and elegant than wines from neighboring appellations. Robert M. Parker Jr. wrote that Volnay has a “high-quality level of winemaking…The top Volnays possess an immense, seductive fruitiness and lushness…”
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.