Philippe Cordonnier does not come from a family of wine growers. Yet, passionate and determined, he creates with great patience his domain in the commune of Corgoloin in Burgundy. Today, Philippe cultivates his grapes, harvests them and vinifies his wines.
Philippe discovers viticulture at the age of 16. He will spend a week in the vineyards of the neighbouring estate and will not want to leave. "I did a week at one estate, I liked it right away and I decided I wanted to work in the vineyards. I worked on the estate for 4 years during my apprenticeship at the Beaune Wine School. Then I stayed there", the winegrower tells us.
In 2009, he and his wife decided to change location. They moved away from the estate and found a plot of vines of 80 ares on lease. This was the beginning of his winegrowing activity.
"I was working part-time in parallel for another winegrower. With these two activities, I was able to develop my estate little by little," explains Philippe.
The development of the estate is done step by step: "From 2009 to 2014 I brought all my harvest to 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 2.5Ha, includes a cellar, a modern wine storehouse, a shop and plots of land spread over several appellations.
Philippe's vines are cultivated in a reasoned manner 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 vineyard properly, there is no secret: "I'm in my vines every day. I know perfectly well what is going well and what is not going well."
The success of a campaign... "It is necessary to manage the size, the yield, to aerate the bunches to avoid rot. All steps are important. My goal is to have a clean grape," explains Philippe.
A necessary prerequisite to make good wine: "To have a very healthy harvest to limit the doses of SO2 in the wines", estimates the winemaker.
"I want to make wines that look like me. I let nature and the grapes do their work: what comes out of it will come out of it", such 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 plots are in the appellations Bourgogne, Bourgogne Aligoté , Côtes de Beaune, Haute Côtes de Beaune and Côtes de nuit village. »
The wines are vinified separately in small vats. For the quality of the wines, Philippe has invested in a modern winery: a cooling unit, a sorting table... combined with a family and friendly atmosphere: "I harvest with friends and family. Everything is harvested by hand, in small crates of 15 to 20 kg. The grapes are sorted once 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's too woody. I want to keep the balance of the fruit. I bring woody notes that should accompany the fruit. "
The results are there: red wines with silky tannins, a fruity rosé with freshness and a white with toasted and buttery aromas. The wines of 2015 - its first vintage - have already been rewarded with medals at competitions, proof that oenophiles appreciate the wines of Burgundy.
"For the next vintage, I would like to stop filtering and fining. I find that these practices distort the wines. The less you put in, the more natural it is, the better the wine. It must be able to make itself," explains Philippe.
He is also considering an expansion project. A more complicated project because the Burgundian vineyard has become inaccessible: "Buying vines here is impossible," says the farmer. For a winegrower in Burgundy, access to land is utopian; so there 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 and who have quality vines. It's the best compromise," concludes Philippe.
A creation of a domain without any doubt successful.
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