Philippe Le Hardi
The Château Philippe le Hardi is located on a hill of vineyards in the village of Santenay. This medieval château is named after the first duke of Greater Burgundy (1342-1404), Philippe de Valois, called “the Bold” (Le Hardi), who greatly expanded the area of Burgundy. He was the son of the King of France, Jean le Bon. Philippe Le Hardi is also famous for banishing Gamay to the southern reaches of Burgundy and promoting Pinot Noir to the top spot. The domaine, which covers approximately 235 acres of vineyards, is one of the most significant in Burgundy.
When we visited the château in June, we met with oenologist Gérard Fagnoni and some of his staff. We were able to look around and witness firsthand their dedication to quality during ever step of the winemaking process. A sense of history and purpose is reflected in all they do.
On our visit we learned that the domaine strictly controls vineyard yields and applies minimal intervention, or lutte raisonnée, to obtain the maturity necessary to allow the Burgundian master grapes, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, to express themselves. While in the winery, we could see that, with the ultramodern equipment, it is possible to apply the latest techniques in oenology to the highest Burgundian traditions. Gerard feels that having this state-of-the-art equipment allows him and his staff to perfect the ideals and techniques of the centuries of experience he has at his disposal.