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A Star in the Making

Camille Thiriet is a star in the making. Sharp as a tack and hell-bent on creating the finest wines by the modest means at her disposal, she has been producing characterful Burgundies from a 20 square metre garage behind her parents’ B&B, the statuesque Chateau Comblanchien in the Côte de Nuits, since 2016. With a few old vines of her own, Thiriet farms organically, working the land by hand and with her two horses, Obelix and Véga. Grapes are pumped over, crushed underfoot and go into a ratchet press, with bottling, labelling and waxing, again, all done by hand. ‘Labour of love’ is no exaggeration here, and we are thrilled to be the sole distributor of these authentic, genuinely artisanal wines in South Africa.

The first wines came out of the 2016 vintage – before the garage even had electricity – and consisted of a Bourgogne Chardonnay and Côte de Nuits Villages, which remain Maison Camille Thiriet’s flagship wines (and, incidentally, higher in price than those from its latterly acquired, more prestigious appellations). There were initially just four barrels of the Bourgogne Chardonnay ‘Cuvée Confidentielle’, so named owing to the modest size of the obliging Puligny-Montrachet vineyard with 80-year-old vines, and three barrels of the Côte de Nuits Villages from the lieu-dit of ‘Aux Montagnes’, in Comblanchien, whose soils Thiriet regards as premier cru quality.

A Bourgogne Rouge was added in 2017, named ‘Les Blanches’ after the white appearance of the limestone soils in Pommard where 80-year-old vines are worked organically. And four more cuvées came along in 2018: a Vezelay ‘Champs Vervin’; a Volnay ‘Les Grands Champs’; that Arbois Savagnin ‘Milieu de Sauvagny’; and a rosé.

The love, energy and care with which Thiriet imbues these wines is impressive – she’s one to watch. A true recent start to emerge.