Biodynamic culture achieves purity and authenticity

Burgundy pioneer Frédéric Magnien Embraces Terracotta Jars

Domain Michel Magnien is an 18-hectare estate located on the Côte de Nuits and spilt into 23 appellations of Grands Crus, Premiers Crus, Villages and AOC Régionales. It has carved out a unique reputation by cultivating according to the philosophical principles of biodynamic culture, while at the same time creating wines that express the authenticity and distinctiveness of their climate.

Thanks to Michel Magnien’s special care for his vines over the years, the wines are unique and faithful to the best terroirs in Burgundy. These days, the Estate is managed by Frédéric, the fth generation of the Magnien dynasty, who strives to maintain the estate’s wines at the highest level of quality.


In recent years, Frédéric Magnien has distinguished himself with his detailed research of the expression and purity of Burgundy soils. This approach has helped to reveal precisely the peculiarities of the climates of Burgundy. In addition, since 2010, he has introduced biodynamic viticulture to the estate.

A logical follow-up to this philosophy was for Frédéric to reinvent his vinification method. This saw the selection of hand turned terracotta jars for partial wine ageing, dating from the exceptional 2015 vintage. The use of jars allows Frédéric to age a biological wine which respects the purity of the fruit and the authenticity of his soil. By revealing crystalline and original wines, jar wine ageing is complementary to the estate’s traditional wine ageing with old casks.
The use of amphora jars for winemaking begun during antiquity, with some vessels dating back to the sixth century BC. With a volume of 160 litres, a key feature of Frédéric’s jar is that they are only made in terracotta, which de facto is an aromatic neutral container. The natural expression of fruit and soil is therefore fully preserved, and isn’t hidden by the wooden flavour transmitted by an old barrel. As a result, each bottle reflects accurately the authenticity of appellations, the passion of vine and the influence of natural elements.

In Frédéric’s opinion, the overuse of new wood can also cover the subtle differences of each climate. The woody tannins last even after 10 years of ageing in bottles. That’s why Frédéric has stopped buying new oak barrels.

In addition, jars contain a high level of silicic acid. This acid gives to the jars antiseptic, bactericidal and purifying virtues. Furthermore, the microporosity of jars allows a slow and controlled oxygenation of the wine during the ageing. Thus, Frédéric achieves more rounded and mineral wines, while preserving the purity of the aromas.

Hall 1 / Stand W167