Domaine Garcia (formerly known as Moron-Garcia up to and including the 2019 vintage) is owned and managed by Pierre-Olivier Garcia (PO), who in a modest-sized cellar in Nuits-Saint-Georges is making some fabulous wines that have gotten Burgundy sleuths and trainspotters all excited of late.
Domaine Moron-Garcia was born when Pierre's father, Jean-Pierre Garcia–a leading geologist in Burgundy–gave him a small parcel of vines in Nuits-Saint-Georges. He then converted a small house into a winery and cellar. The first vintage for the estate was 2016, in which production reached a microscopic quantity of 2,700 bottles.
As with many of their generation, care for the environment is a top priority for Pierre-Olivier. He has sought to restore biodiversity in the vineyards, something they feel has been lost in the region due to the focus on single-crop farming. This ‘eco-attitude’ is more than lip-service. By growing cereal crops, ploughing with horses, planting trees and even using chickens to graze the land, in an attempt to bring back bees and butterflies to the vines. In POs words, the estate is “dedicated to agro-experimentation”.
To supplement a tiny crop, some sourced grapes come from a network of grower friends with whom they work very closely. It goes without saying that the vines are also farmed organically and they must be no less than 30 years old. Pierre-Olivier closely tracks the viticultural process of those vineyards and is directly involved during the harvest.
With vineyards that cover 2.5 hectares, this boutique outpost produced just over 9,000 bottles in 2018. (This level of diminutiveness reminds us of Domaine Bizot, but we digress.)
What sets these guys apart from other wineries is an obsessive care and attention to detail, which is bordering on crazy by most definitions. It took 50 people 10 days to harvest and hand-sort the grapes for their meagre 2.5 hectares.
However, if there is one thing that defines the spirit of innovation and perfectionism at Domaine Garcia, it is this: a rigorous and painstakingly manual destemming process using scissors, referred to as baie par baie (or berry by berry), in which they trim each grape off the stem one at a time, leaving intact only the very end of the stem that is attached to the berry. This technique takes 30 people an entire day to complete one single barrel, yet the duo think this is worth it as it results in enhanced aromas and complexity in the finished wine.
Domaine Garcia truly advocates the benefit of low-intervention winemaking, and fermentation is carried out spontaneously by wild yeasts. In the cellar they work with gravity so the wine is never pumped from tank to tank. They use no new oak, believing its character inhibits the wine’s ability to express its origin. Barrel ageing lasts for 12 months. Only once during the whole process is sulphur added to stabilise the wine.