Burgundy made better by egg-shaped cellar

26th March, 2014 by Patrick Schmitt

A tasting has shown that wines from Domaine Leflaive aged in the producer’s new egg-shaped cellar are superior to those stored in its old facility.

Inside Leflaive egg cellar

Domaine Leflaive’s new egg-shaped cellar

Speaking to the drinks business last week, Anne-Claude Leflaive said that she had organised a blind tasting with 14 winemakers this month in Burgundy at the Ecole du Vin et des Terroirs – a school she established in Puligny-Montrachet in 2008 – to test the influence of her new cellar on the wines from her family’s domaine in the Côte d’Or.

Following the tasting, which comprised “14 very well known winemakers”, as many as 90% of those present “thought that the wine aged in the egg cellar was a more elegant wine”, according to Anne-Claude, who showed the wines blind from her new and old ageing facility to the tasters.

Anne-Claude, who was named Winemakers’ Winemaker 2014 at ProWein on Monday – an award given by the drinks business and Institute of Masters of Wine – used her new cellar for the first time last year, installing wines from the 2013 vintage in barrel.

egg cellar elevation

The design for the new cellar. Source: www.leoffdd.fr/

The building was finished in June and has been designed by Anne-Claude’s daughter, Marine Jacques-Leflaive, an architect who specialises in sustainable winery design.

Holding up to 180 barrels, the new cellar is built above ground due to the high water table in Puligny-Montrachet, where Domaine Leflaive is based.

The cellar is 7 metres high and made with wood, straw and clay as well as earth bricks, and has a natural humidity of 80% and a constant temperature of 12 degrees Celsius.

Called La Cave de l’Oeuf, after the cellar’s egg shape, Anne-Claude said “the shape is very important for everything,” pointing out that the “egg” proportions represent the Golden Ratio, which, she added, “are best for the wine”.

Summing up, she said the new cellar provided “the best conditions possible” for ageing her wines.

While egg-shaped vessels have become increasingly common for fermenting and ageing wine – with Nomblot credited with producing the world’s first concrete egg in 2001, and Taransaud the pioneer of a wooden equivalent exactly 10 years later – Domaine Leflaive is the first producer to create an egg-shaped cellar.

You can read more about the making of the novel cellar by clicking here. Anne-Claude’s daughter, Marine Jacques-Leflaive, runs a firm called Atelier Zéro Carbone Architectes, having learnt sustainable design following a two-year stint at London’s Zed Factory firm, which specialises in zero energy development.

Finally, Anne-Claude Leflaive is one of many high-profile winemakers to take part in this May’s IMW Symposium in Florence.

On the last day of the three-day event, she will present her wines alongside Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja (CEO, Tenuta dell’Ornellaia); Bill Harlan (owner and founder, Harlan Estate); Stephen Henschke (owner and winemaker, Henschke), and Peter Sisseck (owner and winemaker, Pingus).

Click here to see the full programme.

2 Responses to “Burgundy made better by egg-shaped cellar”

  1. Nic Thurlow says:

    Is it April 1st?

    Do they oxidize more slowly in an egg-shaped cellar?

  2. Don Phelps says:

    Sanitation could not be better could it ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Administrative Assistant

Swig Wines Ltd
Chiswick, London, UK

HR Manager

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

Beer Development Specialist

Matthew Clark
London, UK

Senior Sales Manager

Haynes Hanson & Clark
Gloucestershire, GB

Customer Services Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Group
London, UK

Inventory Analyst

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

Events Executive - Atom Supplies

ATOM Supplies Limited
London, UK

Off-Trade Sales Account Executive

Domaine Direct
Nationwide, working from a combination of home & London office.

Sales Executive/Brand Ambassador

Glenfarclas
Ballindalloch, Speyside, UK

Client Manager

Noble Rot
Wandsworth, London, GB

Spirits Investment Director

Stilnovisti
London, UK

Junior Brand Manager

Enotria Winecellars
Park Royal, London, UK

Content & Digital Assistant

ABVGlobal
London, UK

Sales Manager

Cellar Trends
London, UK

Champagne Masters 2017

Deadline : 7th July 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Syrah Masters 2017

Deadline : 18th July 2017

Click to view more

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

Click to view more