Settled in the Middle Ages in the village of Chenas, the Domaine de la Tour du Bief is now composed of 34 acres and gathers the most prestigious terroirs of the appellation Moulin-à-Vent.
The foundation date is not precisely known, but a plate at the entrance of the estate relates that Claude de la Roche Cournon also known as the “Seigneur de la Tour du Bief” left the estate in 1644 for the benefit of Roland de Foudras and his wife Lucrèce de Sève. Later the estate fell into the hands of the Comte de Sparre who remained in place until 2010. The Parinet family took over the estate in 2012 after a 2-year experience in Moulin-à-Vent for Vincent Girardin, one of the most renown winemakers in Burgundy.
As usual in the Middle Ages, historical wine estates used to take place on the best terroirs. That is also true for the Domaine de la Tour du Bief. In 1874 the MÂCON Chamber of Commerce and the MÂCON Trade Association of Vintners ranked all the parcels of the estate among the elite of the appellation.
Rigorous work in the vineyard enables the farmers to work with exceptional material with vines that were planted in 1955. The Domaine de la Tour du Bief aims at perpetuating the tradition of the production of fine wines in Moulin-à-Vent which already competed in the twentieth century with those of the Cote de Nuits. Complex, full-bodied and able to age for a long time, the Moulin-à-Vent wines have always been the reference wines in the Beaujolais region. One can even say that the gamay-based wines may “pinoter” (meaning to taste like pinot grape wines) after some time spent in the cellar, when expressing deep aromas of cherry, black berry spices and truffle.
The estate now has 34 acres mainly positioned on the parcels “la Tour du Bief” and “la Rochelle”. They are both situated in the heights of the appellation, the part most likely to produce fine wines.
The 17 hectares of Domaine de la Tour du Bief are planted with a density of 10,000 vines per hectare. Impeccable diligence on the cultural plan has allowed the estate to find an exceptional genetic reservoir with their vineyard, mainly composed with vines of 80 year-old and more. Yields are kept low (between 16Hl/Ha and 33Hl/Ha from 2009 to 2015) to bring out the specific features of the appellation. The granitic soils enable a perfect expression for the appellation’s single grape varietal, the Gamay noir à jus blanc (Black Gamay with white juice), which naturally has a low production in this environment dried by the winds and on these soils rich in iron and copper oxides. The nature of each soil, its porosity, its exposure, its slope, the age of the vines planted, all produce fruits specific to each “terroir”.