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Joseph Drouhin

One step ahead

The name Drouhin is intimately linked to Burgundy and to the “natural elegance of its grand wines”. At the head of a house founded in 1880, the family has shown foresight and a pioneering spirit in every generation. The story continues ...

Speaking of a family home about Joseph Drouhin is an euphemism. The house has been able to rely in recent decades on an outstanding human capital. First Robert Drouhin, 86, remained the true patriarch. And of course his children, now in charge: Véronique, the oenologist; Philippe, passionate about the vine; Laurent, the sales person, the man of the open sea. And finally, Frédéric, the youngest but also the conductor. Philippe, who was to take over the management of the house, was encouraged by his father to take an interest in the culture of the vine. Having a passion for agronomy, he finally did not leave it! Frédéric, for his part, took the measure of the talents and complementarities that only needed to be expressed around him. One of the great decisions of his generation was to take early on the path of organic viticulture (1988) and biodynamics (1997). At the head of nearly 80 hectares in Burgundy (including 38 in Chablis), it was a major challenge.

“To me, it seems that biodynamics bring depth, extra soul, complexity, a multidimensional side. It is clear that we would not go back today, even if it is not easy when we face capricious weather conditions. However, the weather is the same in conventional farming. Climate change is quite good news for Burgundy. We are experiencing an evolution towards fleshier, smoother wines”, explains Frédéric Drouhin.

Frédéric et Véronique Drouhin avec Paolo Basso.

A pioneering spirit that it has also made thrive elsewhere than in Burgundy. Robert Drouhin was one of the first to believe in the potential of Oregon, then an unknown vineyard on the west coast of the United States (while California triumphed). His children gave it a scale that he himself would probably not have suspected at the beginning of the adventure, especially since the acquisition of the second family estate in 2013: Roserock. “French Soul, Oregon soil”, to use the family's slogan about Oregon. In the meantime, the Laurène cuvée (named after Veronique Drouhin's daughter currently studying viticulture) has become one of the classics of the winery.

"One of the values of our family is to reason on distant horizons: 30 years. Gradually, we thought that we were complementary but that it will not be easy to work together because the brother/sister relationships must yield to the professional relationship. We must be efficient and it is not because we are called Drouhin that we necessarily are. We have an exemplary duty towards the staff and we must be consistent, agree on the strategy of the house."

The Drouhin family is now training the next generation. Another era, another challenge. If it were to be carried out in the image of predecessors, we can only imagine it will be crowned with success.

Laurent Gotti


Paolo Basso’s reviews

Joseph Drouhin, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Marquis de Laguiche 2017
Intense aromas of fine élevage with aromas of yeast, butter, brioche, fairly distinguished. Very nice palate, dense, tasty, distinguished and with a beautiful structure. A very persistent and expressive finish.

Joseph Drouhin, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2017
Nose retained by youth, yeasts and citrus, woody very discreet end. A very beautiful, dense, expressive, mineral and tasty mouth with a lot of distinction, length, elegance and velvet. A very persistent and expressive finish with a beautiful intensity. A very great wine.