Native Côte de Beaune winemaker Elodie Roy – proprietor of Domaine Elodie Roy and creator of some of the excellent reds from Santenay and Maranges – describes taking over the family domain in 2018 as her mid-life crisis. It was certainly a brave move, with no guarantees of success – but out of a crisis came some of the most exciting wines around, and a rising star of the future. Per ardua ad astra!
First studying law, and then working in a bank, she realised her heart lay in the wine country of her childhood – so she went to wine school, eventually putting the theory into action with an eleven-year stint at Domaine Anne Gros. Finally, she took over the family vineyards at Cheilly-les-Maranges.
Women in wine is not a new concept, though it’s true that many Domaine names still reflect male predecessors. Elodie bucks this trend, but works land which is nevertheless still influenced by her father and grandfather to this day – for example, by the parcel of vines planted by her grandfather Robert 70 years ago and still going strong today.
But this land has a pedigree going back even further than that – wines from the Hautes Côte de Beaune region were known to have been enjoyed at the coronation of King Philippe Auguste as far back as 1180. Today, the slopes beneath the limestone cliffs from Les Maranges to Ladoix-Serrigny bear these vines – but it could all have been so different. Between 1910 and 1936, phylloxera ravaged these slopes, destroying almost half of the vines.
Elodie’s wines, thankfully, continue the tradition of quintessential Burgundy viticulture. All four of her reds are available from Elden Selections, starting shipping from September 2020, and sure to be snapped up quickly! All are from the 2018 vintage – the hottest vintage in Burgundy since 2003. It was also notably dry, but managed nonetheless to produce record juice levels, meaning there’s a lot of the crop of 2018 around to enjoy.
The jewel in her crown here is perhaps the Santenay Premier Cru ‘Gravieres’ 2018. Santenay, historically a spa town, lies at the Côte de Beaune’s southern extremity, boasting 10 other Premier Crus alongside Elodie’s. Hers offers aromas of plums, cassis, spices and dark chocolate – elegant yet muscular, it’s a deep and concentrated wine.
Her Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2018 and Bourgogne Hautes Côte de Beaune Rouge 2018 are lively, fruity offerings – expressive and charming, they can be drunk young and give a real mouth-watering finish. In their simplicity they’re also easy to pair with food. Delicate and refined, they can go with dishes that are naturally aromatic, as well as salads and simmered meat stews. They’re also ideal for those who prefer red wine to white when pairing with fish dishes. And of course, the classic red wine cheese combinations work perfectly.
The Maranges ‘La Rue des Pierres’ 2018 is from the gentle, rolling countryside between the Côte D’Or and the Saône-et-Loire. With hints of cherries, cocoa and cedar on the nose, this is a velvety, supple wine with a lively core.
Female wine producers are steadily growing in number and renown, all over the world. Though they’ve always been around vineyards, women have often had backroom – but crucial – jobs, and none of the recognition they deserve. So let’s look to the stars, and toast Elodie’s success, now – and for the future.