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Armand Heitz (Burgundy, France)

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

After first visiting as MBA students one year ago, we were thrilled to return to Armand Heitz for our 99th Wine Experience! For three hours, our host Estelle guided us through three vineyard plots, followed by a visit to the facilities where the Armand Heitz team was producing wine from the recently harvested grapes. While visiting these facilities, Estelle gave us a tour of the underground ageing cellar, and then drove us to the recently renovated Heitz family estate that now supports hospitality and wine tourism. We concluded the morning with an extensive wine tasting at the Armand Heitz shop in Pommard. This fantastic 5 STAR wine experience ranks among the TOP 10% of all our visits to date!!!

We met our host at the Armand Heitz wine shop, conveniently located in a town south of the city of Beaune in the Burgundy Region named Pommard. After a quick introduction, we took a short walk to the first vineyard plot we would visit that day, Clos Des Poutures. Clos is the term for a vineyard in France surrounded by a permanent wall, usually made of stone. This particular vineyard is a special type of clos called a monopole, which means it has only one owner: Armand Heitz. While walking through the recently harvested vineyard, Estelle explained the extremely complex Burgundy classification system, including Regional, Village, Premier Cru, and Grand Cru vineyard plots. With such complexity combined with these tiny vineyard plots, we could easily see how the global demand for this wine outpaces the supply, thus causing prices of premium Burgundy wines to skyrocket over the past 30 years!

Estelle transported us in the estate van between several vineyard plots, including Meursault Premier Cru Perrières and the world-famous Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru. While walking through these fantastic vineyards, Estelle explained that the Armand Heitz team planted different crops, such as mustard flowers, between vine rows to maintain the whole ecosystem naturally. Armand Heitz is a strong proponent of biodiversity within his vineyards as well as his extremely diverse, organic garden that provides local businesses and restaurants with fresh vegetables and herbs.

Our host then took us to the winery, where we were fortunate to observe the production of the 2022 vintage. We had the extremely fortunate opportunity to meet the owner, Mr. Armand Heitz, who warmly welcomed us while he was busily engaged in the wine production. Armand shared that 2022 could be an exciting vintage for the estate!

Due to strict French regulations, only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay can be planted on the specific plots in Burgundy. Armand Heitz owns 23 hectares in the region, which is significant due to the scarcity of land. We found out that he is also expanding business in Beaujolais, just south of the area where we were visiting. With these precious assets and the team's experimental and pioneer spirits, we felt blessed to have the opportunity to taste wines from nine different plots.

Our tasting was held in the quaint, original wooden decorated tasting room back in the town of Pommard. Estelle started with reds and served us some beef jerky made from their farm. As previously discussed, this is another exciting project by Armand Heitz, planting different kinds of crops and raising cattle to supply organic goods to local restaurants. Experimenting with biodiverse tactics in the garden will also assist in discovering new applications within the vineyards.

Our favorite red wine from the tasting, the 2020 Volnay Premier Cru Taillepieds, made from 100% Pinot Noir, was gorgeous with its red fruit flavors, such as red cherry and strawberry with silky smooth tannins. And our favorite white wine was a Chardonnay, the 2020 Meursault Gruyaches, showing richness on the palate that Estelle attributed to the wine's ageing regimen in 40% new oak barrels. The wine’s citrus characteristics persisted on the palate, while the refreshing acidity gave the wine an incredible structure. Each of the nine wines had its own story, but these two were the most impressive.

We graciously appreciated our host's fantastic hospitality during our three-hour wine experience. We also send a big THANK YOU to Armand Heitz for taking the time to speak to us during harvest. We truly felt the adventurous spirit, energy, and attention of Armand Heitz toward his wines, soil, and his people. The visit to Armand Heitz was by far the most interesting, interactive, and educational visit we've experienced in Burgundy. We highly recommend making this 5 Star Experience your next destination!

Experience Rating: 5 Stars

Brodi's Rating: 3 Paws Up

Pet-Friendly: Yes

Experience Vibe: Private Experience, Vineyard Tour, Production Facilities Tour, Chateau Tour, Standing Wine Tasting

Reservations Needed: Yes

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