Domaine Marc Cameron

France, Tonnerre

 
 

Sustainable


Tonnerre is an old and forgotten vineyard region in France, the wines of which once supplied the King of France, Louis XV in the 1750s, and was compared equal to Chablis and bordering Meursault quality.

Australian born, Marc Cameron is the export manager and cellar assistant at Domaine Servin in Chablis.  It was his long-time dream to produce his own wines which came to be in 2005 when he acquired his first block of land in Epineuil (15 km from Chablis). He planted 20 acres of Pinot Noir and an additional 10 acres of Pinot Noir in 2006. This vineyard produced its first vintage in 2011. He then acquired 60 acres of an 18 year old Chardonnay vineyard near Tonnerre in 2007.   His vineyard is on an excellent slope with a south exposition, similar to the left side Premier Crus in Chablis. The soil is 100% kimmerdigien (the same as Chablis) The vineyard is 100% hand harvested each year by family and friends.

The Tonnerre vineyards are situated on unique and complex soils formed from an Upper Jurassic sea-bed about 180 million years ago. Lime-clay soils are dominant here, but the geological originality of appellation Bourgogne Tonnerre resides in its sub-strata, often quite near the surface, of kimmeridgean limestone, formed by billions of tiny fossilised oyster shells called ostrea virgula. It is this prized “Kimmeridgian” limestone that contributes to the special character of Bourgogne Tonnerre its steely, floral bouquet, its delicate, crisp, refined flavor and most important, it’s underlying mineral character.

 Marc only uses organic fertilizer and works the soil with small ploughings to stimulate the vineyard.  He seeks to express the mineral freshness of the terroir so he uses small steel tanks that give him the enable him carefully follow the evolution of the wines and choose the best time to bottle.  He is also experimenting with three year old French oak barrels 227 litres (previously used in Mersault and Chassagne) with the objective to give a little backbone to the wines without overpowering them with new oak. Marc says, “I love the combination of wine and oak, there is almost a spiritual communion between them. Today, everybody is talking about the winemaker and the magic he weaves to make his wines, I prefer to talk about the “Vineyard” and the vineyard techniques. 80% of a wine is made directly from the vineyard. If you have perfect grapes you will have a great wine. My winemaking philosophy is to leave the wine alone and not to pump and add things all the time. All of wines are bottled unfiltered as to express fully the wines character.”

 

Technical Information

Wine Varietals Vine Age Soil Type Farming Type
Bourgogne Tonnerre "Sagara" Chardonnay 25 years Kimmerdigian limestone clay with rocks Sustainable
Bourgogne "Epineuil" Pinot Noir 10 years Kimmerdigian limestone clay with more top soil Sustainable