At this time he sold his wines through Comptoir des Proprietaires de la Cote-d’Or, in Beaune, as evidenced by document listing prices dating from 1851, which quoted prices of hisRichebourgs and Musignys. As he wished to enlarge his business, he founded Maison Leroy in 1868.
FrancoisLeroy’s son, Joseph Leroy, with the intelligent assistance of his wife, Louise Curteley, considerably enlarged the small business at Auxey-Duresses. In addition to making wines, he also made liquors and distilled alcohols. Their efforts were rewarded throughout the years with multiple gold medals and other grand prizes: in Brussels in 1897; Dijon in 1898, and La Rochelle in 1911, just to name a few.
Henri LEROY, son of Joseph and Louise, joined the family business in 1919. He diversified and extended it by creating a subsidiary branch that produced Eaux-de-vie alcohol at Gensac La Pallue, near Cognac. He also established a state of the art distillery at Segonzac, in the heart of Champagne.
Henri Leroy was a friend of Edmond Gaudin de Villaine. De Villaine’swife and brother-in-law, Marie-Dominique Chambon and Jacques Chambon, had inherited fully Domaine Romanée-Conti in October 1912. Due to the worldwide financial crises in the 1920s, the Domaine was for sale in a Notary’s office in Paris for many years; potential buyers were waiting for further financial difficulties to exact the best price possible. Henry Leroy succeeds in persuading his friend not to sell the shares of Domaine Romanée-Conti.
Henri Leroy succeeded in convincing his friend but Jacques Chambon insisted on selling his parts and so sold them to Henri Leroy in 1942, which made Henri Leroy half owner of Domaine Romanée-Conti which is still held by the Leroy family today.
Henri Leroy devoted himself entirely to Domaine Romanée-Conti for the following forty years. He gave the best of himself to this Domaine; his intelligence, professionalism, his heart, and made it what it is today. He developed it into what is referred to today as the “fleuron de la Bourgogne” or the jewel of Burgundy.
He died in 1980, proud to have kept his promise to his friend Edmond Gaudin de Villaine: “Don’tsellyourshares, you will see, we will make this a jewel.”
Lalou BIZE-LEROY, Henri’sdaughter, joined the family business, Maison Leroy, in 1955. ShebecamePresident-Directeur General en 1971. With great devotion and a lot of work, through constant tasting, she undertook to understand the essential characteristics of each “terroir” from each vineyard of Burgundy. For Maison Leroy, still today, she searches unceasingly to purchase the best wines, and for her, the best is always yet to come.
Furthermore, each week, she would accompany her father to Domaine Romanée-Conti of which he became, along with Aubert de Villain, Co-Grant from 1974 to 15 January 1992. Maison Leroy distributed Domaine Romanée-Conti’s wines worldwide (except the United States and Great Britain) until 15 January 1992.
Robert M. PARKER from the “Guide Robert Parker French Wines”, 1997.
“I have said its many times that it may seem redundant, but if you missed it in my 1990 tome, Burgundy, LalouBize-Leroy stands virtually alone at the top of Burgundy’squalityhierarchy. Because she is a perfectionist, and because she has had the courage to produce wines from low yields and bottle them naturally, without fining or filtration, she has been scorned by many Burgundy negociants, and even by the proprietors of other top domaines. Not only are they jealous, but they are also frightened of Bize-Leroy because they fear increasing pressure for lower yields and bio-dynamic farming. Anyone who loves great burgundy must realize that her wines embarrass much of what is produced in Burgundy.”