Patrick Piuze- a Montreal native- is a rock star in Chablis, having taken the region by storm when he arrived over decade ago. He worked for Jean-Marc Brocard and Jean-Marie Guffens before starting his own label in 2008, and has very quickly come to be counted among the legendary names of the region, not least because he became drinking buddies with most of them. The guy is hella-good fun to hang out with... and while that may sound like an irrelevant detail, it is not: Piuze works with purchased fruit, and his great relationships with the growers of Chablis have allowed him access to choice parcels in all of the great sites.
As for technique, he is a maverick. While 90% of Chablis is machine-harvested, he harvests everything by hand, a paramount factor in the quality of his wines. While most cellars use a pneumatic press, he uses a vertical one because he likes the initial blast of oxygen for the wines in hopes of preventing pre-mox later, a way of thinking also espoused by Jean-Marc Roulot.
While most vintners make one indifferently blended cuvée from mixed sites for their villages wine, Patrick obsessively crafts no fewer than SIX different villages-level wines from six different towns. In our tastings together, he touts them as the qualitative peers of his 1er Cru's, and with good reason--they are extraordinary. To make wines this way, Patrick has become a walking encyclopedia of the terroir of the area.