Caves de Vignerons de Buxy - like The Society - is a co-operative with a distinguished history. Based in the Côte Chalonnaise, it was established in 1931 and has expanded over the years so that now 120 families work the vineyards, each with their own parcel of vines to look after with the utmost care. They now form the largest producer in the Côte Chalonnaise, and account for two thirds of the production of Montagny.
The most successful co-operatives are forward-thinking and committed to quality. Buxy have both of these attributes in spades. Since as far back as the 1980s, they have been classifying the quality of each vineyard, and have employed high standards for their members to follow. The price growers receive varies depending on the quality of their grapes: these are judged on a number of criteria including regular vineyard visits (once in June, when they advise growers on vine health and yields, and then again shortly before harvest when each vineyard is assigned a score out of 100) to ensure the quality remains consistent.
They also strictly monitor their harvest: using modern techniques such as machine harvesting, each grape variety is harvested separately, normally starting with pinot noir, followed by gamay, chardonnay and then aligoté. When the grapes reach the winery, each lot is once again assessed for quality, and their grapes are all vinified separately with different qualities kept apart. Most are fermented in tanks, before being aged in foudres, barriques, or tanks.
Each year, we taste through a selection of cuvées with cellarmaster Alain Pierre, in order to assemble our own blend for The Society's Red Burgundy which is bottled for us at the co-op. Good entry-level Burgundy is as elusive as the snipe we feature on the label, but our offering is modest, cherry-scented, fresh, and true to its origins.