Celebrated Burgundy Wine Ambassador Passes Away

Throughout his career, Charles Rousseau became one of the world’s most significant Burgundy wine ambassadors. Ideal Wine Company would like to take this opportunity to mark the passing of the celebrated burgundy wine ambassador earlier this month.

Producing amazing wine

bordeaux wine

France is perhaps the most famous wine making country in the world. From Bordeaux to Champagne, various regions throughout France have cultivated reputations for producing standout red, white and sparkling wines, as well as fabulous luxury goods such as Champagne and Cognac brandy.

Burgundy, which is located in the Eastern reaches of France along the Saone River, a tributary of the Rhone, is a premier wine making region. Although lesser known than the likes of Champagne, Cognac and Bordeaux, Burgundy has cultivated a reputation for releasing fantastic dry reds, with its pinot noirs proving particularly popular with wine enthusiasts.

Wine ambassador

No one person has contributed more to the popularisation of Burgundy wine than Charles Rousseau. After graduating with a degree in oenology from the Université de Dijon in 1945, Rousseau worked with his father who in 1954, purchased a parcel of the Clos Saint Jacques vineyard and established the Domaine Rousseau wine making company. Following his father’s death in 1959, Rousseau went on to build up his father’s venture into a major wine making business.

Rousseau purchased a range of Grand Crus. He also acquired plots of Chambertin Clos de Bèze in 1961, 1989 and 1992 and plots of Chambertin in 1983, 1990 and 1993. Yet Rousseau is perhaps most famous for developing the commercialisation of Burgundy wine around the world, particularly in the US. At a time when most Burgundy wine makers sold their products to traders, Rousseau said that “we affix our name on the label… we must be the best possible,” ushering in the era of ‘high fashion’ viticulture.

Rousseau’s legacy

charles rousseau
Image: Decanter

Industry portal Decanter.com writes that Charles Rousseau has now passed away; he is survived by Eric, his son who manages Domaine Rousseau and Corrine, his daughter. Decanter.com Burgundy wine critic Gérard Basset OBE MW labelled Rousseau “a tireless ambassador of the wines of Burgundy,” and “one of the best [makers of Burgundy wine] of the 20th Century. Going further, Basset said of Rousseau that “a legend has died today but his wines are always there to make us dream.”

With Rousseau’s passing, the world has lost a man who devoted his life to Burgundy wine. Honour Charles Rousseau’s life and legacy by trying one of the Burgundy wines he helped to popularise. Buy the Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques 2000 from Ideal Wine Company and raise a glass of this scintillating Burgundy red to the memory of Charles Rousseau!

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