Domaine Eric Forest

Vergisson | Mâconnais | Burgundy

Eric Forest is one of the top names in Vergisson today. Heir to eight generations of family talent and trained early by local legend Jean-Marie Guffens, Eric’s wines are shining examples of the potential and serious pleasure of white Burgundy from the Mâconnais.

Vergisson without question is the vinous capital for quality in the Mâconnais, and it’s here where Eric’s family first planted vines on the fossil-rich slopes of the “rock” of Vergisson, that was once a prehistoric coral reef (back when this part of France was a vast sea.) From the start, however, Eric didn’t just rest on family traditions but decided to train with the best – which brought him to the Guffens-Heynen cellar door.

Fast-forward to the early 2000s and Eric was already making a name for himself at his own domaine, with wines chock-full of limestone energy and ripe, racy fruit – white Burgundy that was heads and tails above even some of the more hallowed bottles from the Côte d’Or. Today he’s expanded his vineyard holdings, dialed in his biodynamic focus in the fields and is crafting wines that are simply better than ever.

We can be forgiven for repeating ourselves endlessly, but it’s true – the top talents of the Mâconnais (such as Daniel Barraud, another North Berkeley long-time partner) craft white Burgundy wines that still represent extraordinary value given their top-notch quality. Eric Forest is a serious star in this high-altitude region, and his wines deserve a spot in every serious Burgundy cellar.


Surrounded by the imposing cliffs of Solutré and Vergisson, the estate is located in the limestone-rich valley of Vergisson. Many of Eric Forest’s vineyard holdings have been passed down through his Vergisson-based family for eight generations. With some 20 acres today, Forest produces wines from the appellations of Pouilly-Fuissé, Saint-Véran and Mâcon-Vergisson. Most vines were planted between 1930 and 1979.

Vines are cared for sustainably and according to both organic and biodynamic methods, as much as seasonal conditions allow—much of Forest’s current viticultural practices were inspired by his grandfather, who was an early adopter of biodynamics in the vineyards. All work is performed by hand.

Grapes are harvested and fermented in mostly older French oak barrels. Wines are aged in barrel from 10 to 15 months on fine lees. Bottling happens via gravity with very low addition of sulfites, and generally no filtration.

Mâcon-Pierreclos 'Le Clos des Charmes'

A unique, south-facing vineyard in which a majority of vines are 100 years old or older, ‘Le Clos des Charmes’ is more than charming; it’s a piece of both Vergisson history and Forest family lore. As a monopole (a vineyard owned by just one tenant), ‘Le Clos’ holds a special place in Forest’s portfolio. A rich, vibrant and textured white Burgundy wine.


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Saint-Véran 'Terre Noire'

The “black earth” of ‘Terre Noire’ is a thin layer of dark clay that hides terroir treasure underneath: the pure, fossil-rich limestone “mother rock” of Vergisson. These poor, mineral soils make a vine work hard for its nutrients, resulting in bunches with very small berries, which gives a wine of incredible concentration and depth. Here too 100-year-old vines enjoy a full southern exposure, at altitude.


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Saint-Véran 'Cuvée Unique'

Exceptionally in the 2021 vintage, winemaker Eric Forest combined fruit from his two Saint-Véran plots, ‘Terre Noire’ and ‘La Renommée,’ for this special wine. (Yields were so low that crafting separate cuvees was not practical.) Here we have the best of both worlds, the cool, mineral energy of ‘Terre Noire’ and the sunny texture and volume of ‘Renommée,’ a steeply graded plot that’s a natural extension of ‘Les Crays’ in Pouilly-Fuissé. 



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Pouilly-Fuissé 'L'ÂME Forest'

The “soul” of Forest is a blend of four different vineyards, some of the estate’s coolest terroirs, facing east and north. The vineyard ‘La Cote,’ Forest says, gives the wine its ample structure and spiced character; ‘Tilliers’ and ‘Le Bois Rosier,’ with their clay-limestone soils, offer finesse and notes of citrus and stone fruits. The very old vines of ‘Carmentrants’ deliver depth and richness to this very soulful white Burgundy. Three generations in succession (Eric, his father and his grandfather) have tilled these soils and harvested Chardonnay grapes from these family plots.


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Pouilly-Fuissé 1er Cru 'Les Crays'

The legend of ‘Les Crays’ hardly needs to be reintroduced; one of Pouilly-Fuissé’s most noble terroirs (and raised to premier cru status as of the 2020 vintage), ‘Les Crays’ faces full south on the “rock” of Vergisson, on decomposed limestone soils. ‘Les Crays’ at its best is both rich and refined at once, with bracing acidity and succulent white fruit. It’s a treasure for the cellar and will outpace many a Cote d’Or bottle without breaking a sweat.


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Pouilly-Fuissé 'L'Optimum des Hauts de Crays'

A spectacular and special wine inspired by the extraordinary conditions of the 2018 vintage. Winemaker Eric Forest selected fruit from his oldest vines in ‘Les Crays’ to hang on the vine three extra weeks after the harvest; cool winds allowed the grapes to dry a bit, concentrating sugars and flavors. Aged one year in 60% new French oak barrels and then another year in terracotta amphora (then another two-plus years in bottle), ‘L’Optimum’ is a succulent treasure, a heady white Burgundy with stunning concentration in aroma and flavor. Very rare!



  • Download fact sheet (2018 vintage) (PDF)



Established: 2000 (yet eighth-generation grower from Vergisson)
Winemaker: Eric Forest
Region: France • Burgundy • Mâconnais  • Vergisson
Vineyard size: 20 acres


Domaine Eric Forest Maconnais North Berkeley Imports