Celebrating Women Producers

Series 1:

In many cases, the unsung heroes of the wine industry!

We’re delighted to showcase some of the ladies actively involved in the daily operations of their vineyard. Each article will highlight 3 vineyards and their growers who have deservedly proven their trade.

At Our Sommelier our aim is to introduce you to some great wines that are sometimes well-known, or perhaps off the beaten track.

We make no apology for opening your mind to explore new vineyards that highlight talented women and their wines.

Join us as we celebrate women wine producers!

Gilles and Nathalie Fevre

Domaine Nathalie et Gilles Fevre, “Marcel et Blanche Fevre”

Gilles and Nathalie Fèvre met at university where they both qualified as oenologists. Gilles is in charge of viticulture and Nathalie oversees vinification. Gilles’ great grandfather began growing grapes and making wine in and around the village of Fontenay-Près-Chablis over a hundred years ago. They have now been joined by their daughter Julie – a qualified agricultural engineer and oenologue in her own right.

This is a wonderful 50 hectare domaine, all planted on Kimmeridgian limestone – 33 hectares of which are village Chablis. The 1er Cru Fourchaume is vinified in stainless steel tanks, as is 1er Cru Mont de Milieu – which also sees a touch of older oak barrels.

They are absolutely delicious, mouthwatering, benchmark examples of pure, incisive, concentrated wines. The gems of the domaine are the 2 hectare plot of 1er Cru Vaulorent (50 year old vines), at the southern tip of Fourchaume, which is 15% barrel fermented and borders Grand Cru Les Preuses – a magnificent 2.5 hectare holding of 55 year old vines, 70% vinified in stainless steel tanks and 30% in oak barrels.

These are exceptional wines from a top quality domaine of increasingly great repute.

Marie Jacqueson

Domaine Paul et Marie Jacqueson

Founded by Henri Jacqueson in 1947, succeeded by his son Paul in 1972 and joined by Paul’s daughter Marie in 2006, and more recently by his son Pierre, this domaine has long been recognised as one of the very best in the Côte Chalonnaise and its wines adorn the lists of many of the finest restaurants in France. They have 13 hectares of wonderfully sited vines, many of which are very old, and prune hard to reduce yields to around 35 hl/ha. They only work the vineyards manually, with very minimal vine treatments. They are one of very few producers in the village (together with Dureuil-Janthial) to hand-pick everything. Extremely proficient winemaking and judicious use of new oak (20% for whites and 25% for reds) make for beautifully crafted, ripe, intense, sensual wines which have the class to belie their origins.

Their Aligoté, planted in 1950, and Bouzeron, planted in 1930, are stunning examples of this increasingly appreciated variety. The delicious Rully Village Blanc is from three sites in Fromanges, La Barre and Chaponnières totalling 3 hectares. 1er Cru Margotée, planted in 2000 on limestone and white stones, has lovely tight, citrus flavours. 1er Cru Pucelle, planted in 1992, is on limestone and some brown clay and is a bit fuller and rounder. 1er Cru Grésigny, planted in 1950 on purer limestone, is tense and minerally, but with good volume.

The reds are generous, sweet, pure and accessible. They give great pleasure on release but age extremely well – as recent bottles of 1985 Rully Cloux will attest. “Chaponnières” is on quite deep clay/limestone soils, planted in 1985, and has generous, crunchy fruit. 1er Cru Rully Les Cloux was planted in 1967 on 50% limestone, 50% light clay soils and gives an ample wine with great harmony. Rully 1er Cru Rouge Préaux is a 2.5 hectare site, just below Les Cloux, also planted in 1967. Mercurey 1er Cru Les Naugues was planted in 1962 on the best site in the village and has more structure and great class. 1er Cru Champs Martin is equally profound, facing due south it benefits from all day sunshine and always gives ripe, generous, concentrated wines.

Nicole Chanrion

Domaine de la Voute des Crozes

This is a charming, 7 hectares Cote de Brouilly Domaine owned and run by Nicole Chanrion, who is a star grower. Nicole studied viticulture in Beaune at a time when there were not many women doing so. She is delighted that there are more female winemakers nowadays. The Domaine was started by her grandfather but she can trace her family roots in viticulture back to the 1840s.

Together with her son Romain, they produce delicious, pure Cote de Brouilly. Their vines are east facing, some slightly south facing. The alluvial soils here are very diverse and the roches bleues gives a mineral, pepper spice note to the wine.

Each parcel is vinified separately. Nicole looks to produce a balanced and stable wine in the most natural sense possible. She explains “Wine is living. It is complex. We must respect it.” Very little sulphur is used – just after malo – but only for the sake of conserving the wine. Their philosophy of working is ‘Terra Vitis’, as Nicole says: “preserving our nature is a passage” through to the next generations. At the same time, Nicole is not afraid of scientific advancements, she describes wine as being like a human, when a human being sincerely needs medicine, we should use it and we should apply this thinking to wine production similarly – but only when absolutely necessary!

Paul et Marie Jacqueson

Bourgogne Aligote 2019
Bourgogne, Burgundy, France
1 Bottle 75cl
£17.00 VAT Included

Domaine de la Voute des Crozes

Cote de Brouilly 2019
Cercie-en-Beaujolias, France
1 Bottle 75cl
£17.00 VAT Included

Nathalie & Gilles Fevre

Chablis 2019
Chablis, Burgundy, France
1 Bottle 75cl
£18.99 VAT Included

Watch out for our next article which explores the next three fabulous women in wine.

Please share this with your friends if you’ve enjoyed this article.

Arlene King

Written by Our Sommelier

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