Domaine Michel Prunier et Fille, Auxey-Duresses


A - A lovely, diminutive team, the Pruniers are found on the main road through Auxey-Duresses in a flower-filled courtyard, with a cosy tasting room decorated by medals won and foreign bottles drunk. Being of small stature, the Pruniers -  father and daughter -  have no trouble with the perilously low lintel over the entrance to their cellars!

Michel Prunier is now slowly making way for his daughter Estelle, who joined him in 2004 after concluding her wine studies and work experience in Australia and Bordeaux. They represent the fourth and fifth generations to make wine here, Michel having grown the estate to 12 ha from only two hectares in 1986. As a result they have vineyards in Auxey, Beaune, Meursault, Volnay, Pommard, Chorey and the Hautes-Côtes, but the pride and joy probably remains the holding of Auxey-Duresses 1er cru Clos du Val. Three smaller premier crus in the village Bas de Duresses, Grands Champs and Climat du Val are always blended together. A wine should frankly express its terroir and vintage, says Michel so they adapt to each plot, ploughing some for better aeration and drainage while planting grass in others to reduce erosion and control vine vigour. They produce rewarding bottles both in red and white.

B - The Pruniers, Michel and daughter Estelle, were on good form. A tasting in their cellars directly under the house showed the wines this year had an elegance and lightness of touch that was very appealing, the care of their 12 hectares of vineyards showing in the wines.