The Next Generation Winemaking Team; Château de Pommard Welcomes New Assistant Winemaker Eric Pignal
Pommard, France, December 15, 2017 — Famille Carabello-Baum is excited to announce the newest addition to the team at Château de Pommard, Assistant Winemaker Eric Pignal. A young, yet already veteran member of the wine industry, Pignal brings hands-on experience working with renowned winemakers on three different continents.
A native of Normandy, Eric studied mathematics and finance at University of Paris Dauphine and initially worked as a financial analyst. But still, he felt like something was missing. He’d often find himself thinking of his father’s best friend Jean-Pierre de Smet – former winemaker at revered Burgundian estate, Domaine de l’Arlot. Growing up, he and his father frequently visited the domaine and it was there that he not only tasted his very first wine, but also experienced his first harvest as a picker. After several vendanges he realized his true calling was not in finance, but in winemaking.
And with that, he quit the world of finance, relocated to Burgundy and studied viticulture and enology through CFPPA (Centre de Formation Professionnelle et de Promotion Agricole) de Beaune. Since then, Pignal has worked with winemakers across the globe, including Littoria Wines on the Sonoma Coast, Rippon Vineyard in New Zealand and Australia-based Henshke Cellars. In Burgundy, he has already become quite the personality having worked for some of the region’s finest names including Domaine Dujac in Morey-Saint-Denis, Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault, Chambolle-Musigny-based Domaine Georges Roumier, Domain Didier Fornerol in Corgoloin and, of course, three vintages at Domaine de l’Arlot.
“We are so fortunate to have found someone of Eric’s passion and talents to join our team,” explained Michael Baum, CEO & Propriétaire of Famille-Carabello-Baum. “His experience farming and winemaking in natural ways to bring out the best of each terroir is at the very foundation of our future. It’s a pleasure to welcome Eric into our family and we look forward to working alongside him to create the purest expressions of Burgundy long into the future.”
Like Château de Pommard, most of the wineries Pignal has worked at focus on a biodynamic approach. “The most impressive was Littorai Wines in California,” he explained. “Their winery is like a farm where they grow vines and make wines, but also raise animals and grow vegetables. This is truly a place where biodynamic philosophy is fully realized.” In collaboration with Château de Pommard Winemaker Emmanuel Sala and Biodynamic Specialist Antoine Lepetit de la Bigne, his aim in joining the team is to further the biodynamic efforts and help make the best wines possible from these heralded methods.
“Our biodynamic conversion of Clos Marey-Monge in 2017 marks our commitment to the long-term health of this historic vineyard,” said Winemaker Emmanuel Sala. “Thanks to Eric's experiences at several renowned biodynamic wine estates, especially at Littorai in California, Eric has proven to be the ideal winemaker who can bring new ideas and concepts to the winemaking process and management of the vineyard. It's a pleasure to welcome Eric to the team and we are very excited for what’s to come in the new year.”
About Famille Carabello-Baum and Château de Pommard
Founded in 1726, Château de Pommard remains one of the most iconic and visited wine estates in Burgundy. Clos Marey-Monge, at the heart of the domain, has been producing one of the greatest expressions of Pinot Noir for more than two millennia. In July 2015, UNESCO declared the Clos a World Heritage protected climat of Burgundy. The 20 hectare clay and limestone rich terroir makes it the largest and most interesting monopole in the Côte d’Or. It is from this terroir that Famille Carabello-Baum distills the very essence of Burgundy into three highly-acclaimed estate wines – Vivant Micault, Clos Marey-Monge Monopole and the limited production Simone. The family also produces Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Village and Bourgogne wines from more than 20 AOCs across the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune. In 2014, the Carabello-Baum family of San Francisco became the fifth family to guide the estate. In two years, the Château has undergone a remarkable transformation, establishing itself as the ultimate wine education destination where everyone can experience the beauty of Burgundy as nature intended.
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