Not long after purchasing vineyards in the late 1960s and releasing his first wines in the early 1970s Jacques Seysses became an international icon. His ability to coax the utmost flavor and texture from his grapes set him apart from his Burgundian brethren. Jacques’ respect for the terroir of the Côte d’Or is still on display in his viticultural practices and innovative winemaking methods. Dujac wines are more than just varietally correct – they are intimate travelogues of some of the most celebrated sites on earth.
Louis Seysses, biscuit manufacturer and gastronome, had a taste for good food and fine wines. So did his son Jacques who decided in his mid-twenties to leave his dreary job in the banking industry to pursue the exciting life of a winemaker.
Jacques began his new career auspiciously enough as an apprentice to Gérard Potel at Domaine de la Pousse d’Or. Two harvests there taught him the essentials of his craft and introduced him to some of Burgundy’s most revered winemakers.
In 1967, he purchased Domaine Graillet and renamed it Domaine Dujac. Trying to blend what he admired in traditional winemaking with modern techniques, Jacques developed his own proprietary protocol that was considered revolutionary at the time. In the vineyard Jacques’ goal was to maximize the unique terroir of each site. In the winery Jacques explored innovative methods to preserve the exceptional fruit his vineyards had begun to produce.
Dujac’s wines did not go unnoticed for long. In 1974, they were discovered by Gault & Millau and soon began gracing wine lists in the toniest starred restaurants throughout France. As Dujac’s holdings expanded (from 5 hectares in 1968 to nearly 12 hectares today), Jacques, along with his wife Rosalind, looked beyond local markets and began exporting nearly 80% of their production to 18 countries around the world.
Since 1986, in keeping with Jacques desire to protect terroir and improve quality, Domaine Dujac has been in lutte integer, a viticultural regime that combines practices from organic farming, biodynamics and IPM. This philosophy of planned minimal intervention allows each vineyard to produce the finest fruit possible (varietally accurate and site specific) while preserving organic balance and the integrity of the land.
Today, the estate is transitioning from one generation to the next. Son Jeremy is heavily involved in winemaking and marketing; Diana Snowden, Jeremy’s wife and a U. C. Davis graduate in enology, has taken over cellar management; and son Alec, is assuming many of his father’s administrative duties. The infusion of new blood has proved a boon, allowing this remarkable estate to maintain its position as one of Burgundy’s most elite producers.