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Domaine William Fevre (Burgundy)

William Fevre

William Fevre furiously defends the name Chablis throughout his entire life. His family was engaged with wine making during 250 years. Over that period of time they faced many difficulties. 1949 was the most difficult year in the history of Chablis. In was that particular time when vineyards situated in Yonne and spanned over 1000 hectares were exhausted and reduced two times.  However over the 50-year period William Fevre gradually launched his own vineyard which currently amounts to 50 ha.

The William Fèvre vineyards in Chablis spread over more than 50 hectares, of which Premier Cru sites amount to 12 hectares and Grand Cru vineyards to 15.2 hectares. 16 ha of his Grand Cru holdings include 4 vineyards in Les Clos, 6 in Bougros and 3 in Les Preuses. The smallest but significant sites are located in Valmur, Vaudosir and Grenouilles. Premier Cru area divided into seven vineyards is practically the same. There are also 20 hectares of “simple Chablis”. These impressive holdings enable William Fevre to produce unique Chablis wines and make him exceptional among other producers.

The holding is located in the very heart of the region, on so called “historical terroir”, which existed there long before new plantings of the 70th. It is just the unique soil of that region, consisting of clay and lime, which imparts typical mineral character on Chablis wines.

For many years William Fevre carefully looked after every patch of land with his habitual patience and skill. In 1992 in cooperation with Chilean winemaker Victor Pino he founded a wine producing venture in Chile. Many people regard this country as a perfect place for vine growing. Millesime in terms of the best yielding year can hardly be used in Chile. Natural settings there are stable and perfectly fit for vine-growing from one year to the next.

William Fevre vineyards are located in region Pirque of the Maipo Valley. This central part of the country is recognized as the best vine-growing region in Chile. This is one more example of best wine production in cool area of warm countries or in warm areas of cold countries.  Wine production here ranges from ordinary fine wines, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Carmenere, to Reserve Gran Cuvee, which has already  acquired a good reputation.

From territorial viewpoint Chablis is situated in Burgundy, but still closer to Champagne. And soils of these regions have rather similar chalky structure, which imparts some delicacy on Chablis and Champagne wines.

When Joseph Henriot, the owner of Domaine Henriot in Rheims (Champagne) and Bouchard Pere & Fils in Burgundy, turned his eyes on Chablis, he undoubtedly laid the emphasis on William Fevre first of all. In1998 he acquired William Fevre and took all vineyards under his control. However, William Fevre brand was retained. The point is that monsieur Henriot was highly impressed with yields harvested in William Fevre vineyards the 60th, and with wines made during that time. Today William Fevre estate is managed with the same efficiency

Domaine Henriot has been engaged with winemaking for centuries. Today William Fevre estate is managed in the grove and produces genuine Chablis.

Henriot introduces many changes in provincial Chablis. This was particularly connected with appointment of wine-maker in charge Didier Seguier who was moved from Bouchard Pere & Fils.

William Fevre controls wine quality at every production stage.  Grapes are hand-harvested and put into small boxes to avoid damages. Damaged grapes are also harvested manually. After thorough selection and processing the wine is aged in oak barrels.

Since 1999 crop yield was reduced, hand-harvesting became more careful and amount of fresh oak was drastically decreased. Now wines of this brand are among the most refined in the region. Such attention to details supported by long-term experience guarantees that Domaine William Fevre produces top-quality wines of unique character. There is a good reason for the fact that many William Fеvre wines in Wine Guide 2004 (Guide Hachette des Vins) are considered the best and master implementation of Chablis wines.