Philippe Cordonnier does not come from a family of winegrowers. However, passionate and determined, he created his estate in the commune of Corgoloin in Burgundy with great patience. Today, Philippe cultivates his grapes, harvests them and vinifies his wines.
Philippe discovered viticulture at the age of 16. During the 3° internship, he will spend a week in the vineyards of the neighbouring estate and will not want to leave it. "I spent a week in a vineyard, I liked it right away and decided that I wanted to work in the vineyards. I worked 4 years in the estate during my apprenticeship at the Lycée Viticole de Beaune. Then I stayed there," says the winegrower.
In 2009, he and his wife decided to move to a new location. They move away from the estate and find a plot of 80 ares of vines in tenant farming. This was the beginning of his activity as a winegrower.
"I was working part-time at the same time for another winegrower. With these 2 activities, I was able to gradually develop my field," explains Philippe.
The development of the estate is done step by step: "From 2009 to 2014 I brought all my harvest to the Maison Bichot in Beaune because I didn't have the premises to make the wine in good conditions. During this time, I was able to buy the equipment and build my winery for the 2015 harvest. »
Today, the Philippe Cordonnier estate extends over 2.5 hectares and includes a cellar, a modern cellar, a store and plots spread over several appellations.
Philippe's vines are cultivated in a rational way and with the greatest respect for the terroir. "My philosophy: I work without herbicides or insecticides. I work the soil with ploughing and pickaxe," assures the winegrower.
As the Burgundian reminds us, to be able to work his vines properly, there is no secret: "I am in my vines every day. I know perfectly well what is going well and what is not. »
The success of a campaign? "It is necessary to manage the size, the yield, to aerate the bunches to avoid rot. All the steps are important. My goal is to have a nickel grape," Philippe explains.
A necessary prerequisite for making good wine: "Having a very healthy harvest to limit the doses of SO2 in the wines," says the winegrower.
"I want to make wines that look like me. I let nature and grapes do the work: what comes out of them will come out", this is the winegrower's precept.
Add to this the incredible opportunity to work on rich and unique terroirs that are favourable to the cultivation of a perfect grape: "My parcels are on the appellations of Bourgogne, Bourgogne Aligoté, Côtes de Beaune, Haute Cotes de Beaune and Cotes de nuit village. »
The wines are vinified separately in small vats. For the quality of the wines, Philippe has invested in a modern cellar: a refrigeration unit, a sorting table... combined with a family and friendly atmosphere: "I harvest with friends and family. Everything is harvested by hand, in small boxes of 15 to 20 kg. The grapes are sorted a first time in the vineyard and then a second time in the cellar. »
The wines are then matured in barrels for a few months to refine the profiles. Philippe is looking for the optimal balance: "I don't want to make a wine that is too woody. I want to keep the balance of the fruit. I bring woody notes that should accompany this fruit. »
The results are there: red wines with silky tannins, a fruity rosé with freshness and a white wine with toasted and buttered aromas. The 2015 wines - its first vintage - have already been awarded medals at competitions, proof that wine lovers appreciate Burgundy wines.
"For the next vintage, I would like to stop filtering and fining. I find that these practices distort the wines. The fewer products you put in, the more natural it is, the better the wine. It must be able to be done on its own," explains Philippe.
He is also considering an expansion project. A more complicated project because the Burgundy vineyard has become inaccessible: "Buying vines here is impossible," says the farmer. For a winegrower in Burgundy, access to land is utopian; then remains a solution: "I would like to set up a trading structure, buy grapes and vinify them. I would only work with winegrowers I know who have quality vines. It's the best compromise. "concluded Philippe.
A domain creation that was undoubtedly successful.
Manon Mouly (for Les Grappes)