His family history is quite complex, as is often the case in wine estates in Burgundy. The family began making wine at the beginning of the 19th century and Bruno represents the sixth generation of winegrowers. Bruno Clair started his own domaine in 1979 with small holdings in Marsannay, Fixin, Morey and Savigny Dominode. Alongside this sat his family's Clair-Dau estate, one of the great Burgundian domaines, however following the death of his grandfather Joseph Clair family disaggreements sadly lead to its dismantling in 1985. The following year, to add to his own small domaine, Bruno was entrusted with the vineyards of his parents, brothers and sisters which included those of Clos de Bèze, Cazetiers, Clos St-Jacques, Vosne-Romanée, Clos du Fonteny and Chambolle-Musigny. Bruno Clair’s wings are spread widely over the Côte d’Or covering nine appellations in total.
To date, the estate comprises 27 hectares across 8 villages, and produces 32 different appellations.
Bruno, first and foremost, is a vigneron adopting an approach that involves back-breaking vineyard work and minimal intervention winemaking, using a mixture of large old wooden foudres and smaller barriques for the long slow ageing process. New oak, though used, is kept relatively low - rarely going above 40% even for the Grands Crus. Edouard and Arthur Clair, Bruno's sons, are an exciting, committed new generation gradually taking over, gently introducing a few enhancements such as increased whole bunch percentages and less sulphur usage. There is no doubt that Bruno Clair have upped their game over the last ten years and have well and truely broken into the top league of estates in the Côte de Nuits.