Notes from Becky Wasserman & Co.
"Dominique grew up in Tonnerre, only a mile away from the winery he now owns in Epineuil. Though his maternal grandfather was a négociant in the Côte d’Or, his parents didn’t have vineyards and weren’t in the wine trade. After high school, Dominique went to Dijon to study mechanical engineering, but soon discovered that engineering was not what he wanted to do.
At the same time he was in Dijon, Laurent Delaunay, a cousin of Dominique’s who would go on to create Les Jamelles, was studying at the lycée viticole in Beaune. Laurent would frequently invite Dominique to wine tastings. Dominique caught the wine bug, quit his engineering studies and enrolled at the Lycée Viticole; he planned to find a position in the wine trade. His studies completed, he enlisted in the army for his then-compulsory one-year military service. There he met a winemaker from Orange, in the southern Rhône, but whose father had planted for him 4.5 hectares of vines in Epineuil. “The son lived in Orange but would come up when there was work in the vineyards. In Epineuil he lived in a trailer above the vineyards,” says Dominique. “He had a girlfriend who would work in the vineyards without a bra. She was the village’s main attraction.”
It was much colder in Epineuil than in Orange, too cold for the son. He stopped making the trek, neglected the vineyards, and eventually put them up for sale. Dominique bought them in 1990. Six months later, a winemaker from Champagne put his vineyards in Epineuil on the market. Dominique’s father decided to buy those, as well as an old monastic grange, and to hire his son to take care of them and make the wine."