Jules Lavalle – Histoire et Statistique de la Vignes et Des Grands Vins de la Côte d’Or (1855)

| July 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Hello again everyone. Lately, we have been busy setting up orders for En Primeur sales of our 2010s. It is early, though I find this time the best to focus on sales with not much going on in the vineyards besides bud break. Sales, by the way, are going quite successfully.

During the downtime, I have been fortunate to find a second copy of Michel-Jules Lavalle’s – Histoire des Vins de la Côte d’Or from 1855. The price I paid was unspeakably low. A spot of luck? This copy’s condition is unbelievable. The page edges are gold leafed and the first owner was wise enough to have a hardback cover fitted. I am certain that the quality of the book is a result of having a hard cover from the start. My first copy of Lavalle is a bit more delicate and has quite a bit of foxing. My point in noting the condition is only to mention that now I can safely and confidently browse the pages without fear of something tearing. Of note, the copy was signed by Jules Lavalle (not noted by the seller). Reading from Jules’ book, knowing he held my exact copy really just adds another level to just how close I feel to the region’s history, text and author.

I would be remiss in not speaking to a level of intimacy that I feel in Burgundy, owing much of this to the chain of history here that places so much into a direct context. If I need a tip on where to look for directions, the history is sure to provide insights, clues and evidence of what has and will continue to be successful and lasting here. This fact is immensely comforting in uncountable ways. Having my eyes focused on words that were pressed so long ago, though ‘just yesterday’ if taking in the length of time this region has been around into consideration, it truly humbles me and drives me to no end.

EDIT: After showing the book merchant who sold me my first copy of Lavalle, this example seems to be quite special. It turns out that the 6 lithographs in the book were an option. Both of my copies have them. Also of note, it was suggested that since my newest copy is signed, ‘To Mr and Mrs Magnien, their friend, J Lavalle’ and clearly has superior paper quality (not a hint of foxing-completely white) that perhaps there were some examples that went to his friends and family with the gold leafing on the higher quality paper, along with the leather bound cover which was clearly done on release. All of this makes this copy even more special and inspiring for me.

Tags: , ,

Category: All Roads Lead to Burgundy - Maison Ilan's Blog, Burgundy Wine

About the Author ()

Ray Walker is originally from Northern California. After working in Sonoma County for 2008's harvest, he set out to France to pursue his dream of producing Burgundy. With no formal training, he is happy to rely on observation, intuition and luck. Being a natural history geek, he collects and reads old books written in French, focused on Burgundy to intimate himself with the region, culture and history of this beautiful region. Together with his wife, Christian (who also helps with Maison Ilan) and daughter, Isabella Ilan (the winery was named after her) they have lived in Nuits-Saint-Georges throughout the year since 2010. Their winery, Maison Ilan is a micro-négoce, buying 100% in grapes, with multiple fruit sources dedicated entirely to Premiers and Grands Crus reds.

Leave a Reply