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Pierre de Benoist of Domaine de Villaine

A Trendy Burgundy White for Summer

Burgundy is one of those staid, timeless places you don’t associate with fashion. But in recent years a new/old white grape and wine has come into vogue.

Aligoté doesn’t roll off the tongue like Chardonnay. And its prime terroir of Bouzeron sounds more like a description of a bachelor/bachelorette party than a noble wine terroir. In modern times it’s been used to be fill supermarket shelves and as part of Kir cocktails.

All that is changing.

On my summer trip to Burgundy, I drank quite a bit of good Aligoté — fresh, lively and slightly aromatic at prices that don’t make one flinch.

Read about my visit to Domaine de Villaine (Yes, owned by that de Villaine) to discuss all things Aligoté with vigneron Pierre de Benoist, who once dreamed of being a police commissioner as a way to see “all the beautiful and ugly in life.” See my latest column at

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