1570: the year Pope Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth I of England. This same year the Girardin family first tended to vines in Santenay. Fast forward nearly 450 years and current head of the domaine is Justin Girardin, the 26 year old son of Jacques Girardin and nephew of his more famous uncle, Vincent Girardin. 13 generations of winemaking coupled with time spent at other Burgundy domaines and classical training at university have set Justin up for immense success.

Vincent and Jacque's father Jean Girardin divided up his estate in 1982 to each of his four children. Three of the four: Yves, Vincent and Jacques continued the family tradition of farming and winemaking. Jacques took hold of just 3 hectares of vines in Santenay and Savigny-les-Beaune and today the holdings stretch into Pommard and Chassagne-Montrachet totalling 17 hectares that are organically farmed, though not certified. Jacques handed over the domaine to Justin in 2012, leaving the family holdings in great hands.

Justin's philosophy is simple – let nature express itself as much as possible in the vineyard and ultimately the wine, while watching over and respecting the land. So the wine becomes a living product, the fruit of exceptional land and of an age-old expertise, which is renewed and modernized with each generation.

Pruning, vine training, de-budding, leaf thinning, and harvest is all carried out by hand. The sorting process begins in the vineyard with pickers discarding inadequate bunches immediately prior to a second set of eyes on the sorting table. All grapes are destemmed and lightly crushed, encouraging the indigenous yeasts to work their magic. Justin is a firm believer that oak should not be present in aromas nor the palate thus using very little if any new barrels for maturation.

It is rare, in a world where cases of Burgundy equate to down payements on a house, that true value without compromising quality exists. That is certainly the case with the efforts of Justin Girardin. These are wines that reflect site and resonate soundly, wines that tell the tales of 13 generations of dedication through the voice of a young man willing to experiment just a bit. 

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