Burgundy's Grande Dame, Anne-Claude Leflaive Dies


[COLOR=#333333 !important] Domaine Leflaive[/COLOR] | [COLOR=#333333 !important]Puligny-Montrachet's leading lady Anne-Claude Leflaive passed away on April 5.[/COLOR]Biodynamic pioneer and revered winemaker Anne-Claude Leflaive has died.
By Wine-Searcher staff | Posted Tuesday, 07-Apr-2015
Pioneering Burgundy winemaker Anne-Claude Leflaive has died at her Burgundy home at the age of 59.
The celebrated Puligny-Montrachet producer leaves an indelible print on Domaine Leflaive, having converted its vineyards to biodynamic practices during her tenure.
Born in 1956, Anne-Claude grew up in Paris, but visited Domaine Leflaive every weekend and during vacations. When she was 17, she joined the annual harvest: "Being in Puligny-Montrachet during this period of the year, September, for the harvest was the best time of my life," she told Wine Searcher in 2013.
Anne-Claude joined the family business in 1990, before taking sole responsibility for the domaine in 1993. Within four years she had converted the cultivation of Domaine Leflaive's 24 hectares (60 acres) of vineyard, including Le Montrachet, one of the world's greatest Chardonnay vineyards, to biodynamics. Her initiative made her one of the earliest exponents of the practice.
Her pursuit of excellence led to recognition from the industry: she was named "the world's top white winemaker" by Decanter magazine in 2006 and the Winemakers' Winemaker by the Institute of Masters of Wine in 2014.
In addition to her work at Domaine Leflaive, she collaborated with six other Burgundy vintners to establish a wine school, Ecole du Vin et des Terroirs in Puligny-Montrachet, with the goal of broadening wine professionals' knowledge and understanding. She was also prominent in the fight against the introduction of genetically modified organisms in winegrowing.
Wilson Daniels, the US importer of Domaine Leflaive since 1999, paid tribute to Anne-Claude. "This is a sorrowful moment in time for all of us. Domaine Leflaive, through Anne-Claude, not only produced world-class wines but was a great partner and friend," said Wilson Daniels president and founder, Jack Daniels. "Our sincere condolences go out to her family she will be sorely missed."
Anne-Claude Leflaive died on April 5. She is survived by her husband, Christian Jacques, and three daughters.