For more than four centuries the Méo family has been dedicated to the cultivation of vines and winemaking. The Burgundy village of Selongey, north of the Côte d'Or, is the cradle. Even if today, unfortunately, the vine has disappeared there, a pressing room dating from the year 50 attests to the presence of Gallo-Roman winemakers. From the middle of the 19th century, MOE children choose the path of study. Jean-Nicolas's great-grandfather was a teacher, his grandfather was a bridge engineer and his father Jean MEO was a polytechnic and mining engineer. Jean will laer be elected a member of the European Parliament and will sit on the Paris Council. It's through Jean Méo's mother, Marcelle Lamarche-Confuron, from an old winemaker family from Vosne (already with a small trading business) that Méo will set up shop in Vosne-Romanée.
The grandmother of Jean Meo is the first cousin of Etienne CAMUZET, a colorful character. Winemaker in Vosne-Romanée, Etienne CAMUZET (1867-1946) is mayor of the village and more, deputy of the Côte d'Or from 1902 to 1932. In 1920, he has the opportunity to buy the castle of Clos de Vougeot with vines, but he does not live there, preferring to house his sharecroppers (with his political activities, he does not have time to exploit his vines himself). He will sell it in November 1944: the castle has indeed suffered from the war. He had (already!) Understood the interest for Burgundy to have a wine temple to help its promotion. Etienne Camuzet therefore chose to transmit it to the Brotherhood of Knights Tastevin. As for the vines, it is the upper 20 ha of Clos that are for sale ... Etienne Camuzet asks his fellow winemakers of Vosne-Romanée to acquire them. He himself will keep 3ha, at the foot of the castle.
On the death of Etienne Camuzet (1946), his daughter, Maria Noirot, inherited his father's estate and kept the sharecroppers. But she has no children and when she died in 1959, she bequeathed the domain to her nephew Jean Méo, who at the time had already left Vosne Romanée and was since 1958 in the cabinet of General de Gaulle. Having regularly rubbed shoulders with his uncle Etienne who had made him share the cult of the vine by inculcating respect and love of wine, the last of the Méo, he could not stop the saga of wine family. He decides to take over the estate, with the help of his father Gaston at first, then his mother. Jean Méo can then stay with the General de Gaulle and lead a Parisian career that will lead him to lead successively large companies: ELF, France Soir, The Havas Agency, the French Institute of Petroleum ... He is also elected to the European Assembly and sat on the Paris Council. Throughout this period, he relies on four sharecroppers, including the great winemaker Henri Jayer. This one was one of the first to vinify by resorting systematically to the control of the temperatures, putting forward the freshness and the fruit, and thus embellishing the nose and the texture of the wine. Jean Méo will manage the estate from 1959 to 1984, the date from which it appeals to the new generation.
In 1981, Domaine Camuzet became Méo-Camuzet and the first wines bottled under this name are those of the 1983 vintage. Jean Méo and his wife Nicole had 3 children: Isabelle, Angeline and Jean-Nicolas. In 1984, Jean Méo offers his son to take over the reins of the estate. Jean-Nicolas, just 20 years old, a student at ESCP (Sup de Co Paris), is not prepared to become a winemaker. After 8 days of reflection, he agrees to try the experiment, finishes his studies (not without a detour to the University of Burgundy to study oenology) and leaves for the USA at the University of Pennsylvania to return then live in Vosne -Romanian from 1989. He began to immerse himself in the estate, the vineyard, the vinification with mentor, his father of course, but also Henri Jayer who, retiring, nevertheless agrees to share his knowledge to do technique and his art of winemaking. Christian Faurois, son and nephew of other historic tenants of the estate, teaches him the vineyard and transmits his passion for the field. Quickly, Jean-Nicolas, taking advantage of the wind of renewal that begins to blow on the region, expresses his opinions, tries new experiences and succeeds in creating his own method, which he continues to refine. At that time, bottling under the name Méo-Camuzet domain had already begun (with the 1983 vintage), by decision of Jean Méo who had immediately targeted the big export, especially the USA. Previously, the wines were sold to merchants Beaune or night and the few bottles kept for the family carried the label Camuzet or Veuve Noirot-Camuzet with the mention "Jean Méo, owner in Vosne-Romanée". Our new winemaker, from a business school, values his wines by creating an international distribution network, where he will be selected by the greatest sommeliers, which explains the unique place of Méo-Camuzet in the great restoration.
Since 2008, sharecroppers have all retired and Jean-Nicolas cultivates all the vineyards of the estate. Its main problem is to manage the insufficient supply in the face of a growing demand. Thus, in 2003, he decided, in cooperation with his sisters, to create a trading company to meet the demand a little better and to extend its range towards more accessible wines. Thus was born Méo-Camuzet Brothers and Sisters with a distinct label. But the trade seen by Jean-Nicolas is not traditional. Indeed he buys harvests standing in Fixin, Marsannay, Burgundy or others but this is much more than just a purchase of grapes because several interventions are carried out during the season by the teams of the field and these parcels are most of them followed for several years, which allows to have a real knowledge of winemaker. In fact, it approaches a land lease.
Today, the Méo-Camuzet estate is one of the most famous in Burgundy. Jean-Nicolas and his team continue to work the nose and the taste of their wines, in the respect of the nature, the love of the soil and the trade. Jean-Nicolas is married. With his wife Nathalie, they had 3 children, Adrien, born in 1993, Tristan in 1996 and Séverin in 2000. A new generation of engineers or vine growers, it is too early to write this page of history ...