RUNS IN THE FAMILY
With four Burgundy wineries and another in Jura, Aurore Devillard of Château de Chamirey exemplifies the French spirit of patrimony. By June Lee
Cutting a chic figure, Aurore Monot-devillard has become a familiar face at the annual La Paulee Burgundy tasting organised by Vintage Wine Club in Singapore. Seated next to her at dinner though, I hardly have time for a chat as she’s often squired away by fellow Burgundy vintners and wine aficionados alike. “When your job is also a passion, you never really stop working because most of the time, you don’t feel like it’s work,” she later tells me, adding she knows how lucky she is. The veteran executive continues, “But that can also be a trap, because the job needs you to be enduring, persevering and highly fatigueresistant.” In any case, the typically Bourguignon food paired exceptionally well with the wines that night, not least as Aurore says, “because pairing is not only about food, it’s a question of timing and people.”
Mercurey, Domaine des Perdrix in Côte de Nuits, Domaine de la Ferté in Givry and Domaine de la Garenne in Mâconnais; and a recently acquired Jura estate, Domaine Rolet.
Living in Mercurey, she describes a peaceful village with more vines than inhabitants, and where she is woken up by wild boars at times. Together with her father Bertrand and brother Amaury, they produce about 350,000 bottles of Burgundy annually. It’s a tightknit family, brought even closer after her mother passed away in December 2002. Aurore describes the event as “an electric shock”, which persuaded her to get back to her roots, leaving behind her high-flying career in the cosmetics industry working for Elizabeth Arden, Clarins and the Coty Group. Naturally, she wanted to be well-prepared, so she enrolled at the Université de Bourgogne to improve her knowledge on Burgundy terroirs and tasting practices.
“My father Bertrand will produce his 52nd vintage in 2020,” she offers proudly. “He is one of the Burgundy winemakers who understood quickly the huge potential of Burgundy and its