The de Montille family can trace their roots back to the French aristocracy in the 19th century, proprietors of land in both Volnay and Pommard before the Revolution. They purchased small plots of vine during the century, probably leasing it out to other winegrowers as was common in those days. Phylloxera cast its shadow over the domaine and the family was forced to diversify their interests, rearing cattle around Auxois.
Hubert de Montille was born in 1930, his father François passing away just five years later, leaving his mother and uncle to manage the domaine. Hubert himself took over in 1951, although by this point there were only around 2.5-hectare of vineyard; hence his pursuit of a legal career in the town of Dijon, since there was insufficient vinous revenue to live on. His vocation ultimately led him to become an important figure within Burgundian legislation.
But during the 1960s, with his income boosted by his successful career, he was able to augment his vineyard with acquisitions of other parcels and expand the domaine. He was one of the first to introduce domaine-bottling on a serious scale, having already bottled some of the production himself back in the early 1950s. The 1961 vintage was the last to be sold to Beaune negociants.
Hubert is now joined by his son, Etienne who spent his formative years at Coopers and Lybrand before becoming a full-time vigneron at Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet and Domaine de Montille.
Undoubtedly, there is a definite style to Domaine de Montille’s wines that you either love or hate. De Montille’s wines are for those who love true Burgundian Pinot Noir, rather than those that pander to an international audience. Hubert de Montille was famous for eschewing chaptalization except only in the poorest of vintages; a serendipitous discovery after Hubert miscalculated the amount of sugar to add in the 1959 vintage.
- Wine Journal