We've got a secret (or two) to tell...
Burgundy is France’s most noble of vineyard regions, renowned for its exceptional (and expensive) red wines from the Pinot Noir grape. A patchwork of small vineyards surround almost every village, with ancient stone houses and minute wineries seemingly squeezed in between the vines.
The Bichot vineyards, Burgundy
Bernard Bichot's family had been rooted in the region since the Middle Ages, and he set up his négociant wine trading company in 1831. It was then that he began to document what would become the first few family secrets, and almost 200 years later, the Bichot family continue to run the place.
Even for wine professionals, Burgundy is complicated! Families often own the tiniest of plots, sometimes just a few vines scattered across a village, so that wine-making was not very profitable. Négociants were appointed to make and sell the wines of several vineyards, and they know each vine, each row and each vineyard intimately.
Six generations later, all that savoir-faire and those family secrets have gone into making one wine - drawn from the complicated patchwork. The Secrets de Famille wine ('Family Secrets') oozes with Burgundian charm, and we have wine made from grapes picked during the outstanding growing year of 2009. The bottles are now deliciously mature, and hard to find online - our own secret! £9.99.
If you wanted to explore the wines of just one of those little plots from the same year, you should peek inside the walled vineyard of Clos Rousseau in Santenay, with the Albert Bichot Santenay 1er Cru Clos Rousseau, also 2009 - this is a truly beautiful and special wine, £15.99.