the Origins

A family story

Like all great stories, the story of Domaine de Montille takes you back in time. 

The past: its roots. The present: the new generation. A clever combination, a balance, between tradition, audacity and modernity.

The roots

The family tree takes us to the middle of the 17th century, in Créancey, in Auxois, with the Lords of Commeau. Founded in the 1730s, the estate was renamed Domaine de Montille following the union of Étienne Joseph Marie Léonce Bizouard de Montille,the great-grandfather of today’s Etienne de Montille, to Marie Eléonore Chauvelot de Chevannes on April 9, 1863.

At the time, the estate was sitting on a real treasure. Around twenty hectares of magnificent terroirs, planted with pinot noir in the Côte de Beaune but also in the Côte de Nuit with Musigny, Bonnes Mares and Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Les Amoureuses. These glorious names will bring a spark in any wine lover’s eyes. Yet, times were different then and had their share of agricultural catastrophies. When phylloxera hit Burgundy, the family had no choice but to let go of some its vines. In the 1950s, the estate was stripped to bare bones with barely 3 hectares remaining, located mainly in Volnay, as well as the family house, also located Volnay.

Fortunately, the story does not end there. The 1950s marked a turning point in the history of the estate. Hubert de Montille placed high hopes in the marvels of the mosaic of Burgundy terroirs. He and his son, Etienne de Montille, current owner of Domaine de Montille, devoted both their lives to reconstructing and expanding the family vineyards, plot after plot. First in Volnay and Pommard, then in Vosne-Romanée, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, and many more places.

Historical Timeline

15th and 16th centuries

The Bizouard family traces its origins back to the 16th century in the Auxois region. The lordship of de Montille dates back to the 14th century. Lazare Bizouard (1669 - 1735), a lawyer in the Parliament and Secretary of the King, was the first to bear our surname: Bizouard de Montille.

The Chauvelot de Chevannes family, who owned vineyards, settled in Volnay and built the estate house. The cellar, where the offices are now located, was built around 1776.
1731 - 1733
Before the Revolution
Branches of the Montille family left the fiefdom of Créancey to settle in Burgundy.
Under Napoleon, the de Montille Family, through acquisition or alliance (Zoé de Vaudremont), owned more than 5 hectares of very fine Chambolle-Musigny crus, including Musigny and Bonnes-Mares. They also owned vineyards in Volnay, Pommard, and Beaune.

A former Army Officer, Léonce de Montille, Etienne’s great grand-father, participated in the campaigns in Italy and in Orient (Crimea) before settling in Volnay where he married Eléonore Chauvelot de Chevanne in 1863. His wife's vineyard estate then became Domaine de Montille.
Passionate about history and literature, he was a founding member of the Société des Agriculteurs de France. In 1890, he chaired the Agriculture and Viticulture Committee of Beaune.

Léonce de Montille (1828 - 1917)
19th century
It is the golden age of Domaine de Montille, which then owned approximately 30 hectares of prestigious vineyards in the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuit.
In addition to Léonce, other family members distinguished themselves in the world of wine, such as Count Alfred de Vergnette de la Motte (1806 – 1886), son of Elisabeth de Montille, a renowned scientist. Considered the father of modern oenology, he invented the process of wine preservation through heating and cooling. His significant works were later taken up by Pasteur. He wrote numerous treatises on wine, including his magnum opus in 1865, "Le vin."

Phylloxera devastates European vineyards. The vineyards yield nothing, and many landowners sell their vineyards to the winegrowers who exploit them.

From a magnificent estate of 30 hectares, only about 2.5 hectares remain at the end of the Second World War. It is an immense loss for the estate, but it is indeed challenging to judge the decisions of past generations with present-day criteria.

Early 20th century

At the age of 17, Hubert loses his father and subsequently becomes the head of the estate. He takes over the estate to preserve this family heritage with the few remaining vineyards and the estate house in Volnay.

He begins studying law, continuing a long tradition in the family, and learns the craft of vineyard and winemaking from his uncle.

At the age of 20, Etienne, returning from a long trip in the United States, begins his journey of the world of wine with his first harvest alongside his father Hubert.
After 12 years of apprenticeship with his father, Etienne is appointed co-manager of the estate and in charge of winemaking. He decides to convert the estate to organic agriculture.
Etienne abandons his career as a corporate lawyer in Paris to fully devote himself to the estate, which now encompasses 9 hectares of vineyards. Hubert retires, and Etienne takes over, simultaneously overseeing another property: Château de Puligny-Montrachet.
Etienne expands the vineyard estate, notably with the acquisition of the Thomas Moillard vineyard in partnership with his long-time family friends, the Seysses family (Domaine Dujac). This marks the return of the de Montille family to the Côte de Nuits, including holdings in Vosne-Malconsorts and Clos Vougeot.
The estate now operates on 16 hectares. Biodynamic farming is practiced across the entire vineyard.

Domaine de Montille acquires the Château de Puligny-Montrachet estate, approximately 15 hectares of very fine white wine vineyards, including Les Perrières and Les Porusots in Meursault, Les Folatières in Puligny-Montrachet, En Rémilly in Saint-Aubin, and the prestigious Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru.
With his teams, Etienne creates two vineyards, one in Santa Rita hills (Santa Barbara, California) and the other in Hokkaido (Japan).
Etienne returns with his family to live in the ancestral house in Volnay and converts the former winery into the offices of Domaine de Montille.

His son Louis takes an interest in the wine industry and begins an apprenticeship to become the 10th generation to continue this adventure in the world of wine.


Hubert A man of conviction

Hubert was fatherless when he took the helm in the late 1940s. The estate did not exceed 3 hectares but that was something he was determined to change. The bright child became a successful lawyer. In-between two cases, he explored his true passion: his vines. Who, if not Hubert, committed his life to reinstating and developping what was left of the family estate? 

Not only was he a great winemaker, he was also one of the most ardent defenders of Burgundy terroirs of his time. At a time when more than 90% of the wines produced in the region were in the hands of the négoce with a standardized style, he made terroir-driven wines from his own vines. Wines with strong character, just like him. Terroir. It was always about terroir.

Hubert became a pinot noir icon and made Domaine de Montille a legend.


a man of conviction

“Montille”, as he was called during his lifetime, divided his time between his legal career, which he had chosen in 1953 and he humorously described as his “bread and butter”, and his dear vines. Being of great eloquence, he distinguished himself in cases defending some major Burgundy houses, such as Faiveley against Parker. His career reached its peak in the 1980s, when he defended the Laroche family in the highly mediatized « Petit Grégory » case. However successful as a lawyer, today Hubert is best known as one of the greatest winegrowers of his generation.

Christiane, Hubert’s wife, played a decisive part in this success. Working diligently behind the scenes, she managed many administrative affairs. A remarkable woman of taste and a skilled cook, she greatly influenced the family's palate. Always present, her kind heart and sharp mind always was the first to mediate between father and children when necessary.

Hubert’s independent character led him to follow his own path without concern over what people might think. An entire generation of wine enthusiasts and professionals remembers his strong and meaningful appearances in Jonathan Nossiter’s Mondovino. His outspokenness and his advocacy for terroir and age-worthy wines continue to make waves even today.

When asked once what had marked or inspired him, he simply replied, "No one." As he opened a Volnay premier cru Taillepieds 1985, one of his finest vintages, he added, "What I love about all this is the astonishment. The astonishment one feels when opening a bottle. I'm like a child," he confessed, with that light that never left his gaze... It was then understood that Hubert had said it all. It was time to stop everything, raise one's glass, smell, taste, and appreciate all the work accomplished. A true journey through time.

Etienne Tireless entrepreneur

For the past two decades, Etienne de Montille has been at the helm of Domaine de Montille, orchestrating its journey with visionary zeal and unwavering commitment.

Etienne has successfully cemented and expanded the global reputation of the estate, excelling not only in red wines but also in whites. In a continuation of his father's legacy, he orchestrated a significant acquisition in 2012, procuring approximately fifteen hectares of esteemed vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, Meursault, and other illustrious villages of the Côte de Beaune. This bold move restored the estate to its level in the 19th century, when it boasted nearly 35 hectares of prime vineyard holdings.

With a clear vision and boldness, Etienne always has dozens of projects brewing in his mind. The establishment of Racines estates in California and de Montille x Hokkaido in Japan in 2017 stand as shining examples of his adventurous spirit, and surely, more exciting endeavors are yet to come.


Tireless entrepreneur

Etienne's love affair with vineyards and wine began in his childhood, but he was determined to "learn a proper trade first" before embracing the family tradition. While he initially followed a path in law and later ventured into the world of mergers and acquisitions, his heart never strayed far from his roots, wine.

In 1983, Etienne began his journey at the estate after spending a year in the United States, where he worked as a bartender at Chez Panisse, the Californian restaurant that played a pivotal role in the "Food and Wine" revolution in the country. It was there, amidst the apostles of taste and nouvelle cuisine, that he discovered his inner traveler, a trait that would stay with him forever.

It was also during this time that he realized his true calling lay in Volnay, at the heart of the family vineyards. He honed his skills at university and learned the practical aspects from his father, Hubert, until 1990 when he took over the reins of winemaking.

In 1995, with a decade of winemaking experience under his belt, Etienne was appointed co-manager and transitioned the estate to organic agriculture.

By 2001, he embraced a full-time commitment, overseeing both the family domain and the esteemed Château de Puligny-Montrachet, where he assumed the role of manager. It was in that year, 2001, that he fully took the helm, affirming his style and philosophy: biodynamic farming, crafting wines that are silkier and less austere, all while upholding the core principles learned alongside his father: authenticity, purity, elegance, and balance.

On several occasions, Etienne expanded the estate with exceptional vineyards. In 2005, alongside his father, he acquired prestigious parcels of vines in the Côte de Nuits (Vosne-Romanée, Vougeot, Nuits-Saint-Georges), including the fabulous Malconsorts in Vosne-Romanée. However, his ambition didn't stop there; a few years later, in 2012, he acquired the Château de Puligny-Montrachet, which he had already been managing for 11 years. With this acquisition, approximately fifteen hectares of Chardonnay vineyards became part of the estate's portfolio.

In 2017, Etienne and Brian, who has been Etienne's cellar master and right-hand man at the estate since 2010, embarked on a new venture on the opposite side of the world: the initiation of the grand journey of Racines wines in the Santa Rita Hills of California. Concurrently, he pursued another daring endeavor: planting vineyards in Hokkaido, Japan. It's evident that he's always on the move!

the Team

A global perspective

At Domaine de Montille, the ardor and eagerness of youth blend beautifully with the experience and humility of the elders. To cover the entirety of the vineyard, from Vosne-Romanée in the north to Chassagne-Montrachet in the south, our teams support and complement each other while embracing the same passion and imperative of excellence.

In the winery, Brian and Jacques work together, one from Meursault, the other from Puligny to deliver unique expressions of great burgundy wines.

Today, more than 20 people put their heart into their passion with us on a daily basis. From the vineyard to the office, these incredible personas come from all walks of life: Italy, England, USA, France. A stubbornly international team, fitting for a land that is praised worldwide.







Virginie DUCREUX

HR & Finance


Trade (Export)


Trade (France)


Brian was born in Indianapolis, but his journey through a myriad of professions has taken him across the globe: from ski patrolling in Colorado to guiding fly-fishing expeditions, harvesting grapes, and working in vineyards in Sonoma Valley, California…
With an unwavering passion for terroir, he eventually found his home in Volnay. Following a year at the estate, he assumed the role of cellar master in January 2010. Beneath his legendary wit lies a deep well of expertise and a steadfast commitment to excellence in his craft.



If there's anyone who embodies seasoned expertise, it's Jacques. Hailing from Saint-Étienne, he cut his teeth in Chablis and developed a profound passion for white wine vinification. Joining the Château de Puligny-Montrachet in 1987, he swiftly assumed leadership of vinification. Embracing organic farming as a life philosophy, Jacques's wealth of experience became invaluable. When Etienne de Montille acquired the Château de Puligny-Montrachet in 2012, Jacques emerged as a trusted cornerstone. Valuing experience above all, he believes that while scientific knowledge aids, it's his seasoned intuition that truly guides every cellar action.


Nicholas comes from Friuli, in Italy, where he pursued studies in viticulture and oenology before completing his first three harvests. In the spring of 2016, he crossed paths with a certain Brian Sieve, and thereafter ventured to the United States and Australia before finally settling, as you may have guessed, at Domaine de Montille!
With remarkable talent, and a fiery enthusiasm, he climbed the ranks, starting as a versatile laborer, then becoming a team leader, tractor driver, and ultimately vineyard manager. A lover of Pinot Noir and Burgundy, he values the autonomy, freedom, and open-mindedness of the Domaine above all else.

Virginie DUCREUX

HR & Finance

Crafting exceptional wines also entails meticulous management of business affairs and team members. In this regard, the estate relies on its queen of numbers! Since 2017, Virginie has served as our Director of Finance and Human Resources.


Trade (Export)
Who better to promote and distribute Montille internationally than a man from the region, both resolutely Burgundian and intensely curious about the world and others? Nicolas grew up here on the Côte de Nuits, a region he never tires of exploring (he even knows the best spots in the forest). He discovered a passion for fine wines, and his ambitious spirit led him to establish his wine import business in Sweden before joining the team in 2021. A playful yet logical mind at your service!


Trade (France)

Manon grew up in the historic province of Bourbonnais and also spent part of her childhood in Japan and the United States, two countries dear to her heart that are also cherished by the estate. Passionate about gastronomy, it was between Dijon and Reims that she fell in love with wine, studying it from every angle.
For a while, she had a foot in trade, the other in the vineyard. Today she is proud to accompany the distribution of the estate's wines in the most beautiful country in the world: France.