The estate was founded in the village of Davayé in the Macon district (Southern Burgundy) by Maurice Martin in 1969. With unfailing tenacity, a strong character, with his wife and his family, without whom nothing would have been possible, Maurice Martin settled in Davayé and devoted himself to the vineyards.
His son, Richard, took over in 1990 and was joined by his brother, Stéphane, in 1992. Richard manages the vinification and sales, and Stéphane oversees the vineyard. They brought new blood, new ideas, focusing only on great healthy grapes and quality driven wines.
The family property is t has been gradually enlarged and currently brings together a unique set of almost 60 plots, on average around forty years old and located on all the hillsides of the village.
In 1999 a new modern cellar was built by the two siblings. Beyond its functionality, the buildings fit into the environment and is located at the entrance to the village, drawing inspiration from the traditional architecture of the Mâconnais: courtyard is open to the east, the roofs are covered with round Roman tiles, the Mâconnaise gallery overlooks the entrance to the cellar.
The memory of the Domaine de la Croix Senaillet is patiently built over the years. Domaine de la Croix Senaillet” takes its name from a cross that had been given by an old mayor of the village called Benoit Senaillet. The records show that the mayor donated the cross to Davayé in 1866, to replace the original one destroyed in 1793 during the French Revolution. According to the common beliefs, the cross was blessed in 1867 and protects the local village’s inhabitants.
The vineyards are located on the south/southeastern slopes of the Solutré and Vergisson rocks. The estate spreads over 60 parcels in the town of Davayé and measures 22 hectares total (54.3 acres): 17 ha in St Véran, 5 ha in Mâcon, less than 1 hectare in Pouilly-Fuisse. The soil is both chalk and clay. The vines are 40 years old on average. The area ranges in altitude from 250 to 450 metres.
In order to increase the quality of the grapes, Stephane follows “culture raisonnée” methods. Since the 1990’s, the Martin brothers, supporters of sustainable agriculture, have protected their vines with a minimal chemical treatment strategy, focusing instead on natural soil and plant strengthening. Their conversion to organic viticulture began in 2003, and they were officially certified organic in 2006.
The pruning method known as “taille à queue du Mâconnais” (lit. Maconnais tail pruning) is typical of the Maconnais district and is a variation on Guyot pruning. This technique of bending of the wood into an arc during pruning is designed to prevent acrotony, a characteristic defect of Chardonnay vines, and also serves to protect the plants against spring frosts.
The two bros sell 80% of their production in bottle and 20% to négociants. 60% of their wine is sold in France; the remaining 40% is exported.
The entry level wine range consists of 4 villages wines: Saint Veran, Macon Davayé, Pouilly Fuissè, Pouilly Vinzelles.
The lieux dits (single vineyards) collection gathers five wines all under the Saint Veran appellation: Les Rocahts, En Pommards, Sur la Carriere, Grand Bruyere, Les Buis.
The appellation Saint-Véran is actually larger than the territory of the commune of Saint-Vérand, which is spelled differently (note the final “d” was lost).
Strange enough … the accidental mistake was never corrected and the name stuck. Established by decree in 1971, it is the latest appellation in the Mâconnais region and covers just over 700 hectares. No Premier Crus and Grand Crus here.
Saint Veran has since become synonymous with subtle, fruity, well-rounded white wines. Harmonious, fresh and round the Chardonnay are generally fat and lively form the first sip, with minerality balanced by a floral bouquet.
The region forms a belt around the more famous and fancy appellation of Pouilly Fuissé and produces only white wines from the Chardonnay grape. The vineyards are split into two separate islands by its close relative Pouilly Fuissé.
Both occupy slopes forming part of the chain of hills to which the Rock of Solutré belongs. This rocky backbone is made of fossil ridden limestone of the Jurassic Age. On the western side are older rocks covered with grey marls while the gentle sloping eastern side is composed of marly limestone.
In a nutshell