Domaine Follin-Arbelet is in the village of Aloxe-Corton. The 15-acre domain is owned and run by Franck Follin-Arbelet, who took on management of the estate after his father-in-law André Masson retired in 1993. Franck and his wife Christine make red and white wines and farm sustainably. Their cellar is underneath the 18th century house where they live, and the cellar is therefore especially cool and humid, both advantages for aging wine. Domaine Follin-Arbelet produces four Grand Crus and four Premier Crus. The Grand Crus parcels are in Romanée-Saint-Vivant, Corton-Charlemagne, Corton-Bressandes, and Corton. Wine write Clive Coates the domaine “an address to note.”
Aloxe-Corton is one of the most historic appellations in Burgundy. It includes the communes of Aloxe-Corton and Ladoix-Serrigny. The Romans settled in the area and made wine, and in the eighth century Emperor Charlemagne was so impressed with the wine from Aloxe-Corton that he bought land and founded an abbey. The famous Grand Cru Chardonnay Corton-Charlemagne was named for the emperor, who, according to legend, switched from drinking red wine to white because his wife disliked red wine stains on his white beard. The AOC Aloxe-Corton includes 13 Premier Crus and 220 acres of village vineyards. Nearly all of the wine produced is red, and the reds are known for spicy, earthy, tannic character. At the heart of the appellation is the Montagne de Corton, or Hill of Corton, which is home to the Grand Crus of the area. The Chardonnay vineyards are at the top of the hill, but further down the hill is planted to Pinot Noir. All 22 Grand Cru vineyards on Montagne Corton produce wines that include the name Corton. All are reds except for the legendary Chardonnay Corton-Charlemagne.
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.