Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy, France
Jérôme Galeyrand, unlike other Burgundian vignerons, comes from a family in Loire Valley without winemaking history. After eight years working within the cheese industry, Jérôme became passionate about wine and began working harvests at the legendary Domaine Alain Burguet in Gevrey-Chambertin since 1996. Inspired and driven to start his own label and make his own wine, Jérôme enrolled into the Wine Institute in Beaune.
Jérôme is a detailed and thoughtful winemaker without the restraint of tradition and is open to experimentation in his work. The result is transparency and sense of terroir in the glass.
In 2002, the passion and desire of ownership drove him to purchase his first vineyard site in Gevrey-Chambertin (only 0.05 ha) and harvest was completed by Jérôme and his friends with vinification in the home basement in September. In 2003, he took over a domaine in Brochon from the owner who was looking for the right replacement.
Jérôme’s holdings don't include any premier cru or grand cru and are only based in Gevrey-Chambertin: around 5 ha including 70% of the lands certified organic and 30% being sustainably farmed. All vineyards are plowed to maintain oxygen levels in the topsoil to promote biodiversity. Harvest is done by hand with intensive selection and sorting to ensure only the right berries are used.
Vinification takes place in a modern winery next to an auto repair shop in Gevrey-Chambertin which made me think at the moment of our visit that we found a pure Burgundy wine garage. Below the winery, he built a traditional arched cellar where wines are aged in barrels.
His goal is terroir transparency. No pesticides, all vines are plowed. He uses partly whole cluster inclusion and practices a delicate vinification. All wines are aged in oak barrels - 12 months for whites and 18 to 24 months for reds. Jérôme’s wines are perfumed, precise, refined and elegant. He produces roughly 2,000 cases a year, based on vintage conditions, of course.
Jérôme takes a very adaptive and rational approach to vinification, where decisions are made based on intuition, knowledge and experience. The inclusion of stems and clusters is used when the vintage allows. Long and cool fermentation with natural yeast is encouraged for complexity development. Élevage occurs in oak barrels for all wines with 12 months for whites and 18-24 months for the reds with minimal racking. The wines are bottled unfinned and unfiltered.