What is a "small" wine estate? Here in California wineries consider themselves small if they make less than say 15 or 20 thousand cases. In Burgundy the scale is a little different as centuries of family inheritance have split vineyards into tiny parcels with many owners.

But by any standards the Domaine Digioia-Royer is small. They farm a total of 5 hectares (12 and half acres), half of which is bourgorgne appellation and the rest in their home village of Chambolle-Musigny. By comparison their neighbor Freddy Mugnier, not a large estate either, has a little over 14 hectares.

This is exactly how Michel Digioia likes it. It allows him to oversee every step of the process himself, spending long hours in the vineyard and the cellar in order to craft his classic, elegant and pretty Chambolle.

In 1999 Michel took over the domaine that his wife's grandfather founded in the '30's. Since then he has quietly perfected the art of Chambolle-Musigny, a village known for producing wines of supreme elegance and aromatic complexity. Farming is lutte-raisonnée, the fruit is de-stemmed and fermented in large oak casks and aged in barrique (20-50% new) for 12 to 18 months.

The wines of Digioia-Royer are perfectly in tune with tradition and the special terroir of Chambolle shines through every cuvée.

So why are they virtually unknown through much of this continent? Probably because there's just not enough wine to make a real "push" in the export market. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that "Digioia" doesn't roll off the tongue of non-french speakers.