Producer Article

Simon Bize

Last edited on 7/29/2015 by bonnesmares
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Domaine Simon Bize has produced wines in Savigny-les-Beaune since 1880. Today, the domaine consists of almost 22 hectares of vineyards, including no less than thirteen different appellations - almost enough to fill an entire restaurant wine list on its own! The diversity of the Domaine does not lie in the names of its wines alone. Savigny-les-Beaune is so situated as to contain vineyards with varying exposures to the sun and the characteristics of the wines within the Savigny appellation vary enormously. Wines that come from vineyards adjacent to Beaune (to the South of Savigny) tend to take on the qualities of Beaune wines. Similarly, the wines that come from the appellation’s northern vineyards are more like the wines of its northern neighbour, Pernand Vergelesses.

What is remarkable about Domaine Simon Bize is that each of its wines clearly portrays the house "style" as well as its individual "personality," without one masking the other. The domaine’s winemaker, Patrick Bize, is a man of few words and of great talent. His definition of a well-made wine is concise and to the point, "a wine that pleases the person who drinks it." We believe that the domaine’s success is due to Patrick’s enormous respect for the origins of the individual wines and his ability to impart a district personnally to each one.

Patrick’s winemaking philosophy is based on the principle that yield is of the utmost importance and should never exceed 40 hectolitres per hectare (a personnally imposed restriction, given that the legal limits set by the French government are significantly higher). He believes in harvesting "perfect" fruit, and does whatever is required to accomplish this, even if it involves a degree of risk that most winemakers are not comfortable with. For example, in 1995 Patrick began his harvest one whole week after everyone else in Savigny and, had the weather turned on him, his losses were potentially great. However, that year, as in countless other years of "difficult" weather, the risk paid off for Patrick.

Patrick says that the word most used to describe the red wines of Savigny-les-Beaune is "elegant." He believes that this should be an essential trait of any Burgundy Pinot Noir, and his wines demonstrate his conviction beautifully.

Patrick artfully extracts the maximum potential from every grape, and the result is an astonishing array of complex wines with enormous depth of flavour, solid structures and elegance to boot!

Patrick Bize tragically died in October 2013 of trauma from a car accident caused by his heart attack. His wife, Chisa, carries on in the business.