Domaine Benoit Moreau / L’Arlèsienne

Location: Chassagne-Montrachet, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy
Size: 4.2 hectares in the Côte de Beaune and 1.7 hectares in the Beaujolais
Varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay
Viticulture: Biodynamic (certification underway), caterpillar tractor to avoid compaction, all vineyard work except plowing is manual (including spraying), experiments with tressage and/or trimming by hand
Vinification: Whites – grapes are directly pressed or crushed (depending on ripeness), fermentation with indigenous yeasts in barrel; aging in barrel (228, 300 and 500L) for 15 to 16 months. Reds – whole cluster inclusion depends on the vintage; fermentation with indigenous yeasts and infusion (no piegeage). Gamay is vinified and aged in amphora or 500L barrel with no added SO2. Pinot is aged in barrel.

From an early age, Benoit Moreau worked alongside his father and brother at the family estate in Chassagne-Montrachet, Domaine Bernard Moreau & Fils. From 1999 on, Benoit and his brother Alex led the estate in tandem, Benoit in the role of vineyard manager. In 2020, the brothers split up the holdings, and Benoit took over his share of the vines late that year. Around the same time, convinced by the potential of the terroirs in Beaujolais, he acquired vineyard plots of Beaujolais Villages, Chiroubles and Morgon. (He produces the Beaujolais wines under the name L’Arlésienne.)
Benoit farms biodynamically (certification underway) and by hand, and sometimes with the aid of a small caterpillar-type tractor. In addition to the use of cover crops, he is experimenting with the ancestral technique of tréssage in the vines; this means that the tops of the vines are braided or woven together instead of being topped (where the end of the vine is cut). While still allowing for aeration, this provides a canopy protecting the lower vine from summer heat.