18 May 2022

IN SEARCH OF MARINE FOSSILS


Assisting winegrowers for twenty years in France and abroad, geologist Françoise Vannier worked on the Puligny terroirs of Domaine Leflaive in 2019. She recounts unexpected discoveries that make the wines unique and rich.

"My work consists of deepening the technical knowledge of the terroirs, to better understand the nature of the soils and subsoils: sending electromagnetic waves, digging soil pits, exploring how the soils behave in their physical and chemical aspects. 


At the request of Brice de La Morandière, I intervened on the Puligny plots of the Domaine. First of all, you have to imagine that Burgundy, in its long geological history, was a shallow sea that stretched as far as the eye could see to the Paris Basin and England in a tropical climate! It was a place of life for multiple organisms: algae, shells, animals...of which we still find fossils today. Very little fossil material is found on the surface because they deteriorate quickly, but when you dig, you discover all this rich material. 


We thus found in the upper third of the Chevalier-Montrachet plots a cousin of the mussel and the clam, scientifically named Pholadomya Bellona. The upper part of Bâtard-Montrachet also contains fossils, ferruginous oolite. This is a specificity of the Leflaive plot, which must be understood to determine cultivation practices or the choice of a rootstock."