François Raveneau created his Domaine as recently as 1948, but winemaking and the terroir of Chablis was in his family’s blood, and that of his wife who is part of the celebrated Dauvissat family. He combined the vineyards that she inherited with those he acquired to create the 9.3 hectare estate.
Almost all of the vineyards are of Premier or Grand Cru status and François is one of the only remaining producers to harvest entirely by hand. These stellar examples of Chardonnay came to the attention of celebrated US importer Kermit Lynch, who literally begged to be able to buy them. However, it took several years before François was prepared for his wines to be exported. Now in the hands of his sons Jean-Marie and Bernard, the wines of Raveneau demonstrate just what is possible in the cool fresh climates of the top vineyard sites in Chablis.
“They are not interested in making quantity, they are probably not interested in making money, they are only interested in creating wine as art. The yields are small, and all the wines are aged in oak barrels for an extra layer of complexity. This is not, however, at the expense of the purity of fruit for which Chablis is justifiably famous, and it is this delicate tightrope act of winemaking for which the Raveneau wines are rightly celebrated. A perfect marriage of fruit weight and racy fresh acidity, making for the ultimate rich shellfish wine.”Rod Smith MW
“We always used to chase sugar when I was younger. Now we have to look after our acidity.”Jean-Marie Raveneau, Domaine Raveneau