By Keize Mumba, Head Sommelier at Grub & Vine and Culture Wine Bar

It is no secret that I love Bordeaux; these wines are bold, have depth and are extremely full of character!

Two weeks ago the owner of Grub & Vine and Culture Wine Bar, Matt Manning, took me to Burgundy. The aim was largely educational – he wanted me to meet the people, hear the stories and visit the domaines behind some of the fantastic wines we stock at both Grub & Vine and Culture. Secondly, I suspect he was  hoping that he could convert me into a Burgundy lover, just as he is. The question is, did he succeed?

Let’s just say that now I have a better understanding and appreciation of the allure of Burgundy, and it’s sophisticated wines. It’s definitely sparked a flame, which may just turn into a roaring fire…

On Tuesday 20th June, we arrived in Beaujolais in Burgundy, a quaint village with centuries’ old buildings, narrow roads and vineyards sprawling across rolling hills.

Later that day our importers Alex Dale, Andy O, Tom Prior and Jacques de Klerk of Radford Dale Imports and myself – later joined by Matt – visited Château de La Chaize, located south in Brouilly.

This  modern domaine features a state-of-the-art underground cellar recently excavated and equipped with modern winemaking equipment ranging from temperature control steel tanks, large format wooden vessels, gravity pneumatic press, an automated plant that traps nitrogen from the air and converts it via a cooling and heating system, a bottling and labelling facility, which is unusual in a region that is dominated by small family-owned domaines that typically use traditional, artisanal and hands-on winemaking techniques. “The current output is just over 300,000 bottles with the aim of producing 1 million bottles in the next 3-4 years,” said Boris, the winemaker who gave us the tour of his domaine and cellar.

Eventually, we ended up standing around the long triangular glass tasting table and corks begun to be pulled! We tasted through the full range of their 2022 vintages, as well as a few 2021s – a special treat!  

My personal favourite was the Château de La Chaize Morgon 2022 because of its pronounced intensity black cherry fruit alongside red fruit and impeccable tannin structure, which will enable it to mature in the bottle for many years.

Watch this space for more posts about my trip.