Domaine de la Cras

Burgundy / France

At A Glance

Winemaker(s)

Marc Soyard

Appellation

Bourgogne Coteaux de Dijon (Monopole)

Varieties

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir

Farming

Organic

Quote

I’m passionate about the vines. Each wine should be a reflection of its terroir and be unique.

Their Story

“In the vines and in the cellar, I let things happen naturally, my philosophy is to intervene the least amount possible. ” — Marc Soyard

Domaine de la Cras is a 160 hectare farm located on the hills overlooking Dijon. In 2013, the city of Dijon purchased the domaine and chose the young vigneron, Marc Soyard, to farm the land. In return for the land, the cave, and the ability to bottle his own wine, Marc must pay a “tax” in the form of bottles of wine each vintage to the city of Dijon. Marc has also agreed to allow the domaine to be open to the public year round. This is a little price to pay for the luxury of farming and producing the city’s monopole wine.

Mid Post Image
At the top of the vineyard, the domaine's steeper, better exposed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines are used for the cuvée “Cras”

Marc Soyard spent six years at Domaine Bizot in Vosne Romanée as the vineyard manager while also spending much of his time with Jean-Yves Bizot learning his winemaking process. Marc has adapted the same organic farming practices and “hands-off philosophy” to Domaine de la Cras that he learned at Domaine Bizot. All vinification is done with natural yeasts, minimal sulfur use, and elevage is traditional in a mix of new and used barrels. Marc also like to experiment with different types of wood in small amounts and most interesting is his use of chestnut and acacia barrels.

Coteaux de Dijon – MONOPOLE

The official appellation at the domaine is Bourgogne AOC, but Domaine de la Cras is the sole Burgundy domaine allowed to use the designation Coteaux de Dijon, as well as, the ability to label their blanc and rouge cuvées Cras “Monopole”.

This year Marc split the property into two separate vineyards in order to give the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir parcels different vineyard names; the Chardonnay vineyard is “Le Grande Bessy” while the Pinot Noir vineyard is “En Bessy.” The domaine produces two cuvées for each their blanc and their rouge. The cuvées “Coteaux” come from the lower elevation parcels, while the cuvées “Cras” come from the steeper, better exposed parcels.

Interview with Marc Soyard, Winemaker of Domaine de la Cras

Where were you born and raised? I’m originally from the Jura, a neighboring viticultural region next to Burgundy. My parents aren’t originally from a winemaking background. During family meals, the wine often flowed and I listened at length to my grandfather talk about the wines he tasted. If you could briefly describe your approach in the vineyard what would it be? In the vines and in the cellar, I let things happen naturally, my philosophy is to intervene the least amount possible. I only intervene at moments where it is important to do so. On the whole, the vineyard is managed following organic and biodynamic practices (since 2016), but not certified. No synthetic products. The wines are vinified without added sulfites and undergo 80% of elevage without added sulfites. What excites you most about your vineyards? I’m passionate about the vines. Each wine should be a reflection of its terroir and be unique; it’s for this reason that I chose to use no oenological products other than sulfites (homeopathic doses). Being in the middle of nature and far from the vines of the cote bourguignonne makes the domaine unique, and I think that it’s an advantage for me because it allows me to differentiate my wines from the other wines of the region. The proximity to a big city, like Dijon, is also unique. If you could say one thing to the sommeliers who are introducing people to your wines for the first time, what would it be? Purity, freshness, and elegance (I asked the question to a sommelier of a [Michelin] starred restaurant with whom I work). What is your favorite type of music? I really like Latin and African music; I like the convivial side that this music imparts. If you could have any superhero power, what would you choose? Teleporting, so I can enjoy a glass in all four corners of the world during one weekend… the dream. Visit Domaine de la Cras Website