Domaine de la Cras

Marc Soyard

In 2013, the city of Dijon purchased a 160-hectare agricultural property called Domaine de la Cras, located just outside the city limits. The former owner had already built a winery and planted 8 hectares of vineyards (5ha red and 3ha blanc) on land classified under the Bourgogne AOC, with a possibility to plant an additional 13 hectares. An open call for proposals was held to decide who would take over the winemaking –the primary criteria being that the vineyards had to be farmed organically, the winner had to be a young winemaker with no existing family vineyards, and he/she must be interested in opening the domaine to the public for educational visits.

After Marc Soyard was chosen, he was given free reign to live on-site at the domaine, tend to the vineyards, and produce and sell his own wines, under the condition that he pay a yearly “rent” in bottles to the city of Dijon. Originally from a non-winemaking family in the Jura, Marc worked for six years at Domaine Bizot in Vosne Romanée as chef de culture (vineyard manager), while also working in the cellar closely with Jean-Yves Bizot to learn the winemaking process.

Marc has adapted the same hands-off, natural philosophy to Domaine de la Cras that he learned at Domaine Bizot. All of the vineyards are farmed organically with some biodynamic practices. Depending on the vintage, the reds are partial whole cluster or 100% whole clusters. All vinification is done with natural yeasts and minimal addition of sulfur. Elevage is traditionally executed in a combination of new and used barrels, with frequent experimentation using different types of wood in small amounts, including the traditional oak from various forests, as well as chestnut and acacia barrels.

The official appellation at the domaine is Bourgogne AOC, but the Domaine de la Cras is the sole producer allowed to use the designation Coteaux de Dijon. The Domaine de la Cras produces two reds and two whites. The cuvée ‘Coteaux’ comes from the lower elevation vineyards, while the cuvée ‘Cras’ comes from the steeper, better exposed vineyards and has a longer elevage.
Marc Soyard also personally owns two small parcels of Pinot Noir further south in the Cote d’Or - one vineyard of Bourgogne Rouge near Ladoix (which he named Hermaion), and a second parcel in the Haute-Côtesde Nuits.

Key information

Burgundy

Plombières-lès-Dijon

8 hectares

Founded in 2014

Organic certified, Biodynamic practices

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The wines

Bourgogne Pinot Noir Coteaux de Dijon Cras Monopole

Red Wine
 : Pinot Noir
Domaine de la Cras - Bourgogne Rouge (1)

The Cras Rouge Monopole is a small selection of the best parcels of Pinot Noir vinified 100% whole cluster and aged for 18 months in barrel. During the reign of the Ducs de Bourgogne, the wines from Plombiers were valued more than those of Gevrey o...

Bourgogne Chardonnay Coteaux de Dijon Cras Monopole

White Wine
 : Chardonnay
Domaine de la Cras - Monopole Blanc

The Cras Blanc Monopole comes from the best exposed heart of the 2.5 hectare block of Chardonnay at the domaine. This special cuvée is then aged for at least 18 months in new and used barrels. The vineyards around Dijon are often thought of as Pino...

Bourgogne Chardonnay Coteaux de Dijon

White Wine
 : Chardonnay
Domaine de la Cras Bourgogne Chardonnay Coteaux de Dijon

The Coteaux de Dijon Chardonnay comes from vines at the top and base of a 2.5 hectare block of vines. The vineyards around Dijon are often thought of as Pinot Noir country, but Soyard shows that Chardonnay can thrive just as well and produce some c...

Bourgogne Rosé L’Equilibriste

Rose Wine
 : Pinot Noir
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The cuvée l'Equilibriste was initially created for a local circus festival around Dijon, thus the high wine "razor's edge" balancing act on the label. The rosé comes from the same Pinot Noir vines in Bessy that are used for the Coteaux de Dijon,...

Bourgogne Rouge L’Equilibriste

Red Wine
 : Pinot Noir
Front Label - Equilibriste Marc Soyard

The cuvée l'Equilibriste was initially created for a local circus festival around Dijon, thus the high wine "razor's edge" balancing act on the label. The red comes from the same Pinot Noir vines in Bessy that are used for the Coteaux de Dijon,...

Bourgogne Pinot Noir Coteaux de Dijon

Red Wine
 : Pinot Noir
Domaine de la Cras - Bourgogne Rouge

During the reign of the Ducs de Bourgogne, the wines from Plombiers were valued more than those of Gevrey or Chambolle. With expressive, energetic wines like the Coteaux de Dijon Pinot Noir, Marc Soyard is showing that this near-forgotten terroir o...

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