Bruno Clair began on his own in 1979 when his father's famous Domaine Clair-Dau was fragmented as a result of family disagreements and France's Napoleonic inheritance laws. Bruno began with plots in Marsannay and Fixin, a small parcel in Savigny-Les-Beaune and a fallow plot that needed replanting in Morey-Saint-Denis, upon which he established an excellent reputation. By 1985 the parts of the old estates which had been retained by his family were in disarray and the various members asked Bruno to take control which he gladly did, adding vines in Clos de Bèze, Cazetiers, Clos-Saint-Jacques, Vosne-Romanée, Clos de Fonteny and Chambolle-Musigny to the portfolio. During the 1990s purchases of land in Corton-Charlemagne, Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton, and Gevrey-Chambertin Petite Chapelle further enhanced the holdings under his command and brought the total area to 23 hectares.
Not only does Domaine Bruno Clair have a prestigious portfolio but it also has an enviable selection of clones, pioneered by his father and developed by Bruno during careful observation in the vineyards. In his work he is aided by his close friend and valued colleague Philippe Brun, who has been with him from the very beginning.
The viticulture throughout is built on organic principles though without seeking certification in order that any particularly difficult vintages can be treated as a last resort. However, yields are kept low through painstaking work and everything is hand-harvested and sorted in the vineyards. Reds are partially destemmed prior to fermentation through the action of natural yeasts in open wooden vats for up to three weeks before seeing time in oak. The amount of new oak each wine sees depend on its designation within the hierarchy.
White grapes are gently pressed and the juice fermented again through the use of natural yeasts in oak barrels with batonnage. Thee whites then spend between 16 and 20 months in 20-50% new oak. The domaine also produces rosé in Marsannay as well as aligoté.