A true character in every sense of the word, and one of my favorite people on the planet, Thierry Violot-Guillemard is definitely one of a kind. He’s a bit gruff and burly on the outside, with a warm and genuine tenderness within – much like his home village of Pommard. Thierry sports a wild, bushy, walrus mustache that belies the understated elegance in his luscious wines. Where most others find aggressive tannins, Thierry finds the finesse. You will not find Pommards like this at any other address – an exquisite balance between power and grace.
Thierry and his wife Estelle run the 15-acre estate (along with an excellent 4-room B&B next door. Book early – it’s always full!) Their son Johannes has joined the operation after finishing his vitculture education in 2015. We’ve worked with Thierry and his wines since the day we started our import business in 2005, having been introduced by a mutual winemaker friend in Volnay. (Jean-Pierre – thank you! I owe you a big one…)
Thierry farms organically. Why? “I should be able to plant lettuce in my vineyards, feed it to my family, and not worry that I’d be poisoning them.” He has fabulous old-vine holdings in the best Pommard 1er Crus (Rugiens and Epenots), a great piece of Beaune Clos des Mouches 1er Cru (both red AND white!), and the jewel-box vineyard called Clos Derrière St. Jean – it’s a Pommard 1er Cru that also happens to be the smallest 1er Cru in Burgundy, at less than one-fourth of an acre. (It produces just 20 cases or so of wine each year, which totally rock, btw.) It used to be a little larger – Thierry pulled out a few rows of vines in 2007 to put in a swimming pool – the Clos is actually in the backyard of his house, smack in the middle of the village!
Every time I take a friend or customer to taste at Thierry’s, they are stunned by the beauty of his wines. Pommard has a reputation for making big, brawny, tannic-monster red Burgs. As a result, many producers have perhaps tried to exaggerate those characteristics in their wines, to make them more “Pommard-like.” However, Thierry and a few of his contemporaries have found that if you “take your foot off the pedal” a bit and don’t try to push the edge of the envelope so hard, there is actually an elegant and subtle beauty at the heart and soul of Pommard. His are Pommards that will seduce you, rather than beat you into submission. His are wines that I like to DRINK. Based on how quickly they sell out, I think you like to drink them too.