France – Francoise and Denis Clair


Denis Clair is “bonhomie” and “joie de vivre” personified and that energy has enabled him, with the solid assistance of his wife Francoise, to make major improvements in the running of his tiny family property.  Their son joined them 2 years ago after finishing viticulture school.  Denis works in the vineyards to keep them healthy and prolong the life of the vines.  He replants some land each year when vines are old and tired.  Thanks to the cold maceration they have introduced for Pinot Noir before fermentation, the Clair reds now have a softer texture and bigger fruit that do full justice to the fine Santenay terroir on which they grow.  Clair’s new approach and the very seductive wines he obtains with them have won over his friends, Brenot and Lequin.  The use of batonnage for premium whites has enhanced the oiliness and aging potential of these wines to a degree found elsewhere only in cuvees from the finest producers of Puligny or Chassagne.  Denis Clair is a man who deserves admiration not only for his own wines, but also for his unfailing dedication to the general interest, the promotion of quality and his lively curiosity about all things viticulture in all parts of the world.  He is one of modern Burgundy’s most fascinating characters.


The Francois & Denis Clair vineyards are located in the Santenay appellation near the village of Saint Aubin.  This was a little known appellation until nearly 30 years ago when Denis started to gain recognition as a winemaker.


Denis works the soil to get natural compost and air into the soil.  The vineyard grows on the fine Santenay terroir, which is well-known to the region.  By carefully working the soil, Denis is able to save on the use of pesticides, and uses no herbicides.


F&D Clair Haute Cotes de Beaune

Dry Red wine:  100% Pinot Noir and is produced by one of the top boutique Burgundy houses. It is a soft, fruity wine with an excellent aroma of cherry and currant. It has a rich ruby color and long-lingering taste. 1 year in oak barrels.  Production is very limited.