In 1991, then-20-year-old David Duband returned home from a shift at his local military post to learn his father was purchasing a 1-acre plot in Nuits-Saint-Georges. Despite growing up in the Burgundian countryside and cultivating humble vines in the outlying Hautes-Côtes appellation, nobody in his family had ever made wine. Instead, they sold their fruit to the local cooperative. Duband was about to change all that.
In the years that followed, he enrolled in a 2-year winemaking program and set up shop in the cellar below his family’s home, learning the trade from scratch. He gradually converted all of his vineyards and long-term leases to organic and biodynamic viticulture and gained a devoted partner in François Feuillet—a business man and Burgundy fanatic who provided Duband access to top crus like Échezeaux and secured the renowned 17-acre holdings of now-retired Jacky Truchot. With the help of mentors like Robert Jayer, he learned to ferment with native yeasts and continued to fine-tune his craft, using less and less oak and (since 2008) more whole clusters to make elegant, “digeste” wines like the old Burgundies he loves. Today, he works with a dazzling number of climats, each as pure, vibrant and indicative-of-where-it’s-from as the last and is becoming a reference to seek out in the Côtes de Nuits. Duband has been recognized recently by La Revue du Vin de France (one of France’s leading wine guides), when they awarded the Domaine their coveted 3 stars, along with other super stars like DRC, Leroy and Georges Roumier.