Old-timers in Chassagne remember times when the wines and vineyards here weren't nearly so coveted. When the Cournut family purchased the estate in 1940, the 6.5 acre plot behind the house was a vegetable garden. The wine business simply wasn't profitable enough to warrant new plantings. Today, the beautiful vines that run 200 meters down the hill behind the Château make up the priceless Maltroye 1er Cru holding, offering wines that sell for $70-$100/bottle. Slightly under half of Château de la Maltroye's vineyards are planted to Pinot Noir, with the rest dedicated primarily to Chardonnay. Jean-Pierre Cournut, one of the Côte de Beaune's most accomplished viticulturalists, makes wines that are vibrant, minerally, and light on their feet though isn't afraid of oak.