White wine vinification

Our wines are known for their great aromatic purity. We always favor balance and elegance over power and extraction. The wines are classic expressions of Burgundy, of their appellations in general and of their specific terroirs in particular. The farming methods we use contribute to this individual style, and our winemaking methods aim to avoid excessive outside influences in order to bring out the equilibrium that can be found naturally in Burgundian terroir.

All our fruit is hand-harvested. Thanks to pneumatic presses, we can calibrate our presses to fit the quality of the grapes and the profile of the vintage. After a light settling, the musts are placed mostly in 600-liter barrels as well as in 228-liter barrels, where the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations take place.

We use approximately five to twenty percent new casks primarily made from Allier wood that sees a long yet light toasting. The first racking occurs after about one year of wood aging, after which begins the second, four- to six-month phase in stainless steel, which preserves the wine's freshness and tension. We finish the aging with a light fining followed by a similarly light and respectful filtration before bottling.

Getting to know Brian Sieve, Chef de Cave at Domaine de Montille

Brian was born in Indianapolis, but at 30 he had already traveled the world. He more or less had tried his hand at everything, working: in ski patrol at a Colorado resort, as a fly-fishing guide, as a harvester and vineyard worker in California's Sonoma Valley and as an oenology student.... Passionate about terroir, Brian finally laid his hat in Volnay. After working for Domaine de Montille for a year, he became chef de cave in January 2010.

Is it like a childhood dream to live in the middle of Burgundy's great Pinot Noirs?
It's a fantastic experience for me, an American, to work and taste here, in the land of terroir. After studying oenology in the USA and some time in spent in California, my wife and I wanted to work in France. It is a unique opportunity and a dream to learn at a domaine like this.

What is your role as chef de cave?
I have to keep an eye on and work with the wines, especially after the fermentations, and be sure that everything is under control. From the sorting table at harvest to bottling, the chef de cave is the right (and left) arm of Alix and Étienne.

I have to make sure that everything goes well, and above all, to be sure the cellar is organized and ready for key moments like harvesting, racking and bottling. My role is to be in tune with the wines at all times, to understand what is best for them and their expressions of origin. A critical moment is the first phase of barrel maturation, between the two fermentations. That's when I must juggle the balance between the acidities and the loss of CO2 before racking. The job requires experience to understand how the wines will develop over the year.

What is your view of Burgundian wines?
Here, acidity is queen... it is important to realize that it is acidity that keeps the wines alive. Pinot Noir needs to be accompanied during its vinification. Étienne, Alix and I get on well because we share the same philosophy, which is to intervene as little as possible and to seek the purest expression of our terroirs. This will produce the most remarkable wines in our minds.

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