Introducing the trailblazing woman behind some of Burgundy’s best hands-off wines
Claire Naudin is an independent winemaker in every sense. From the day she took over at Domaine Naudin-Ferrand in 1994, she has eschewed convention and always sought to follow her own path.
In the early years that meant trialling ultra-modern winemaking techniques like micro oxygenation and reverse osmosis. Before long these experiments led Claire to the conclusion that fewer interventions = better wines. Sustainable winemaking, with a healthy disregard for the constraints of bureaucracy, has been her philosophy ever since.
In the vineyard Claire works organically (although she purposely refuses to be certified, believing that organic accreditation leads to homogeneous wines). She avoids chemical pesticides and weedkillers, both to look after her soils and to protect the health of her vineyard workers. The quality of Claire’s grapes is further improved by measures she has taken to reduce yields, which has the effect of concentrating and intensifying flavours.
Unnecessary interventions are avoided in the winery as well. Claire uses native as opposed to cultured yeasts, doesn’t fine or filter and has almost eliminated SO2 from her winemaking process. As well as being susceptible to the chemical herself, Claire has a theory about sulphur use resulting in harshness in whole-bunch fermented reds. Hence her reds, which are fermented on the stems, are free of this taint, displaying a glorious floral perfume instead.
About the Domaine
Domaine Naudin-Ferrand is prime Burgundy real estate, with plots in some of the most prized vineyards in the Côte d'Or. Claire owns around 22 hectares of vines in total, including parcels in Aloxe, Echezeaux and Nuits-Saint-Georges. The domaine itself is in the village of Magny-lès-Villers, notably the only village straddling the appellations of Hautes Côtes de Beaune and Hautes Côtes de Nuit.
Reduced to £19.99
This is such a refined wine! It’s a fresh, juicy blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, with a heavenly perfumed nose, an explosion of red berry fruit and silky smooth tannins. The energy and vibrancy on show here are extraordinary - you have to try it to see what we mean! Worth decanting for half an hour to tame its wilder natural side. An absolute steal for under £20.
Reduced to £19.99
This is 100% Pinot Noir, from 35-year-old vines trained high and harvested by hand. 2018 was a sun-kissed vintage, so Claire harvested early to preserve fresh natural acidity in the grapes, then fermented whole bunches on native yeasts with minimal interference. The result is Burgundian to a tee, balancing plush fruit, heady floral notes and purifying acidity. It’s fruit-forward and generous, but also filigree-delicate. Chill slightly and be wowed.