Domaine Henri Gouges is arguably the most famous in Nuits-Saint-Georges. The Gouges family has been vineyard proprietors in Nuits for generations and proprietors of the current domaine since 1919. Henri Gouges, along with the Marquis d’ Angerville from Volnay, was at the forefront of the war against fraud in Burgundy in the 1920s and in the 1930s, he was heavily involved with delineating the crus in Burgundy for the Institut National d’Appellation d’Origine, and he was a member of that regulatory body at its outset.
It is currently run by cousins Pierre and Christian Gouges, grandsons of the original Henri, with the next generation joining in. No prisoners are taken here – these are wines designed to age for the long term, and if they happen to show awkwardly in their youth, tant pis. Two historical aspects of note: the original Henri Gouges was mayor of Nuits-St-Georges when the various appellation classifications were being decided. He advocated that no vineyards be proposed for grand cru, even though – or perhaps because – he was a significant owner of the candidate most likely to succeed, Les St-Georges.
In his time, some of his Pinot vines also mutated from red to white grapes and became the Pinot Gouges with which the domaine’s white Perrières are planted. Other vignerons have been supplied with cuttings too.