Domaine d’Auvenay

Domaine d’Auvenay is the fabled home of winemaking legend Lalou Bize-Leroy, one of Burgundy’s most fastidious and talented vignerons. Madame Leroy is truly a master of her art, producing microscopic quantities of magnificent white wines of unrivalled intensity and concentration that are exceptionally true to the unique terroir of each of her vineyards.

The History of the Estate:

The success story of the domaine d’AUVENAY started in 1868 with Maison Leroy, a négociant business founded by François Leroy.

Lalou’s career has been of an extraordinary kind. She first joined the family’s négociant business in 1955, then in 1974 stepped into the role of co-gérant of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti alongside Aubert de Villaine, where she remained until 1992. During this time, she made a name for herself by hosting wine tasting events for critics, sommeliers and others in the wine trade at her home, the Domaine d’Auvenay.

Domaine d’Auvenay amounts to 4 hectares of vines spread over 16 different appellations. The estate counts prestigious appellations such as Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru, Criots Batard Montrachet Grand Cru and Batard Montrachet Grand Cru, one of the latest additions to the domaine’s holding. The Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru of Madame Leroy is for many the epitome of what a great white burgundy is.



The Vineyard:

Since the very beginning Lalou Bize-Leroy has been committed to keep low yields, small berries and retaining the health of the domaine’s old vines.

To do so, her first decision when taking over the vineyards was to shift to organic practices, which at the time was revolutionary in Burgundy. Back in the early 90s, only Nicolas Joly in the Loire valley was managing his vineyards fully organically.

Ignoring all critics, Madame Leroy chose to explore further her beliefs and quickly moved to biodynamic farming as a holistic system from beginning to end. Constantly innovating, Lalou Bize-Leroy has also introduced the use of tisanes and herbs concoctions in her vineyards to reduce the use of sulfur.


As a result, the vines produce some of the lowest yields in Burgundy with an average 15-hectolitre per hectare. But more importantly, all that hard work in the vineyard makes for pure and concentrated wines with a magical energy.



The Wines:

It’s interesting to note that Domaine d’Auvenay house is located about 200 metres higher than the Domaine Leroy’s winery in Vosne-Romanée. That small difference means that the cellars are colder. This explains why people often find d’Auvenay’s red wines less expressive when young when compared to Leroy’s wines. The reds of d’Auvenay need time to open up and reveal their true quality.

Both red and white grapes are put into tailor-made wooden fermentation vats that fit a specific parcel of vines. Every stage of the vinification is driven by the desire to preserve each terroir’s identity.

With this level of attention to detail it’s not surprising that year after year Domaine d’Auvenay produces such exceptional wines at only 10,000 bottles per vintage.