Michel Lafarge is very much a family domaine. Continuing his father Michel’s legacy, Frédéric and his daughter Clothilde produce some of the greatest wines in Volnay. There is nothing modern in their winemaking, though the meticulous care of their biodynamically farmed vineyards puts the domaine at the forefront of viticultural practices. The grapes are de-stemmed, vinified traditionally and very little new oak is used in the cellar. They have around 10 hectares of vines, including some of the very best sites in Volnay. The vines are mature, but not excessively old, and yields are low without being draconian. When they are working on a patch of vines, they are usually accompanied by their hens who eat up any lurking pests. From the simple yet pragmatic grape reception area, to your descent to the barrel cellar via by the slowest lift in Burgundy, and then the emergence into the dimly lit, scruffy and intimate cellar; In the winery, everything feels as if it hasn’t changed in decades. In many practical senses, that is the case, but there are always small innovations, such as the introduction of their manual de-stemming tray used for their smaller parcels such as Clos du Château des Ducs. But what pervades most of all is the feeling that here wines are made by instinct – and the process does not define the result. The wines speak for themselves: wonderfully fragrant, complex and harmonious – the essence of great Volnay. In 2014, they purchased vineyards in Beaujolais which are farmed using the same biodynamic practices as employed in the Côte de Beaune. These wines are bottled under the name Domaine Lafarge-Vial.