Bonnes Mares is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) and Grand Cru vineyard for red wine in the Côte de Nuits subregion of Burgundy, with Pinot noir as the main grape variety. The AOC was created in 1936. It is shared between the two communes of Chambolle-Musigny (where the main part is located) and Morey-Saint-Denis in the Côte-d'Or département. Bonnes Mares is located a little to the north of the Chambolle-Musigny village, and borders the Route des Grands Crus in the east and the Grand Cru vineyard Clos de Tart in the north.
In 2008, 16.24 hectares (40.1 acres) of vineyard surface was in production within the AOC, and 522 hectoliter of wine was produced, corresponding to 70,000 bottles.
The origin of the vineyard's name is unknown, although it is known to have been used since the High Medieval age, and at least three different hypotheses exist. The one most commonly assumed is that it may come from the bonnes mères ("good mothers"), nuns of the Cistercian order at Notre-Dame de Tart. There is also the hypothesis that it originates from the verb marer, cultivate, which means that the literal translation is often given as "good vintage". The third hypothesis, favored by the Drouhin family, is that a myth of a winegrower who in this vineyard unearthed a sculpture representing three goddesses of fecundity, the bonnes mères.
The main grape variety for Bonnes Mares is Pinot Noir. The AOC regulations also allow up to 15 per cent total of Chardonnay, Pinot blanc and Pinot gris as accessory grapes, but this is practically never used for any Burgundy Grand Cru vineyard. The allowed base yield is 35 hectoliter per hectare, a minimum planting density of 9,000 vines per hectare is required as well as a minimum grape maturity of 11.5 per cent potential alcohol.
The style of Bonnes Mares wine is in general full-bodied and tannic. A difference in soil types over the length of the vineyard is often reflected in the style of wines, which can be either more in the style of Morey-Saint-Denis wine or in the style of Chambolle-Musigny wine, meaning lighter and more elegant.
- The Burgundy Report: A.O.C. Bonnes-Mares
- BIVB: Les Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée de Bourgogne, accessed on October 27, 2009
- BIVB: Bonnes Mares (Fiche) (French)
- Wine Doctor: Côte de Nuits Part 1, accessed on December 1, 2009
- AOC regulations, last updated 2009
- Bonnes Mares AC Definition in the Wine Dictionary at Epicurious.com