Domaine des Ronze - NEW
DOMAINE DES RONZE, RÉGNIÉ-DURETTE (BEAUJOLAIS)
Facts and wines
The domain consists of 20 ha., located in Régnié-Durette (Beaujolais). Frederic Sornin produces lovely honest wines with fruit and elegance, but which at the same time have depth and character. He was certified organic in 2009 and 2/3 of his wines are today organic.Buy their wines here Red wine White wine Red wine
- Beaujolais Villages 2018 100% Gamay
- Régnié 2018 100% Gamay
- Beaujolais Villages blanc 2018 100% Chardonnay
Régnié, one of the 10 Crus of Beaujolais
Domaine des Ronze is located in Régnié-Durette, a small town in Beaujolais between Brouilly and Morgon. The wine produced here is called Régnié. It is one of the 10 so-called Crus – 10 areas which are recognized for the special quality of their wines.
The domain's start-up in the 50s
The domain was created in 1950 by Frédéric Sornin's (the current owner) grandfather. He was a notary in the nearby town of Beaujeu and bought some vineyards because he predicted a future for the area's wines. It became a livelihood for one of his sons. Wine production was no stranger to the family, as the grandmother came from a négociant (Wine merchant who buys wines (must or grapes) from winegrowers, to make his own wine and sell it under his own name). Her family stored and sold wines both in France and to export markets, e.g. the Scandinavian countries.
Modern Conventional Viticulture: 60s to 90s
From the 60s came a golden period of almost 4 decades of significant demand for the wines of Beaujolais. Domaine des Ronze grew. It was in 1986 after military service that Frédéric started working with his father. The domaine was run like most domaines at the time, with the use of chemistry in the fields to remove weeds, pests and fungi, and plenty of oenological products in the cellar to control fermentation, taste and safeguard against too many challenges during the process.
The road to ecology: from the 90s
Frédéric Sornin had some other wishes – about e.g. a more environmentally friendly way of producing – which he shared with his father. The father, who had known the time when you had to hoe the earth by hand to remove weeds, was not particularly interested in returning to the hard toil, but he allowed Frédéric to try to do things his way.
It only took a few years with "lutte raisonnée", a method where you limit the use of chemicals. And from 2006, the domain has gradually been converted to organic, thus 2/3 is certified organic today.
Renewed interest in Beaujolais
However, there is hope ahead. The modern machines that can plow steep fields are becoming more and more affordable. Even better, the organic producers can feel a greater demand for their wines, giving them better opportunities to obtain prices that make their business profitable. This also provides a good incentive for the conventional producers to switch to organic.
The renewed interest in Beaujolais can also be seen in the significant wave of acquisitions currently taking place. More and more manufacturers from Burgundy and even the great Rhône trader Michel Chapoutier have invested in the area. This is because land prices are low compared to many other districts in France where they have become sky high. On the other hand, Beaujolais has great quality potential, which the general public just needs to be proven about after several decades, when the area has focused almost all communication on the often not particularly exciting Beaujolais Nouveau.
You can probably talk about an up-coming area.
Work in the fields
For the 2/3 parts of Domaine des Ronze, which are grown organically, the usual organic rules apply: no chemicals and no artificial fertilizers. Fighting diseases takes place with the help of copper and sulphur.
The domaine is continuously in the process of replacing the vines that have become too old. In that process, they move away from the traditional "Taille Gobelet" (self-supporting sticks). Instead, they now use "Cordon de Royat" tying, which lifts the grapes higher off the ground and gives them better ventilation, which reduces humidity and diseases and thus the need for treatment.
The grapes are harvested manually.
Work in the basement
In line with the shift to ecology in the fields, Frédéric Sornin has also changed the vinification to become more natural. This means the use of natural yeast, the exclusion of enzymes and other additives as well as limited amounts of sulphites.
The grapes are destemmed to enhance the fruit flavor and the vinification is traditional for Beaujolais: the grapes are placed in a tank without being crushed first (unlike Burgundy). The lower grapes are subsequently crushed by the weight of the upper ones, which creates a maceration and gives structure and depth to the wine. The top grapes, on the other hand, remain whole and fermentation takes place in the carriers themselves (= "maceration carbonique"). This gives the classic fruity and bolsche-like aromas that Beaujolais is known for.
After fermentation, the wines are stored in cement tanks, so that the fruit flavor is preserved as pure as possible.