Domaine Jean-Claude Courtault is a familly business, founded from scratch by Jean-Claude and Marie-Chantal Courtault ... read more
Domaine Jean-Claude Courtault is a familly business, founded from scratch by Jean-Claude and Marie-Chantal Courtault in 1984. In 2019, they transferred it to Stephanie and Vincent Michelet. This Domaine has now 22 hectares and produces Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru.
Grape Harvest generally begins at the end of September and lasts between 12 to 18 days, depending on the year. Our main aim is to harvest the grapes at their optimal ripeness. This allows us to obtain a higher sugar content in the grapes whilst still maintaining pH and acidity at the levels needed to make a well-balanced wine. Grapes are harvested by machine. They are then quickly pressed to reduce the risk of oxidation. Pressing is done using "Buscher" type pneumatic wine presses. Loading is done by conveyor belt in order to limit damage to the grapes.
After one day's cold temperature settling to get rid of impurities, the grape must is fermented in stainless steel vats. Temperatures are regulated during the process of fermentation so as not to exceed 20C. This temperature control is maintained by automatic thermoregulation equipment. Fermentation takes place over a period of 8 to 10 days on average. The next stage is malolactic fermentation, carried out during the two month period after harvesting. This second fermentation, carried out by lactic acid bacteria, reduces the acidity of the wine and helps add extra complexity.
Next, the wine is aged on fine sediment until Spring. Sediment refers to the deposits of yeast and bacteria that have remained in the wine. Ageing wine together with the lees brings added structure and substance; also known as ropy. In some ways, you could say that this is the process of the wine maturing.
Following racking (separation of the wine from the sediment), the wine is fined if necessary and cold stabilized. Fining, carried out using bentonite (a kind of clay), allows for the removal of proteins, while cold stabilization gets rid of tartrates - these two elements - naturally present in the wine - could result in unwanted precipitation once the wine has been bottled. Following racking (separation of the wine from the sediment), the wine is fined if necessary and cold stabilized. The wine is filtered just before bottling.
Originally from Touraine, Jean-Claude Courtault arrived in Lignorelles in 1974 as a chef of culture for a wine estate in the village.
In 1984 , JC Courtault had the opportunity to acquire a vineyard then aged 4, planted in Chablis on 1.5 hectare. Then, he rents a plot of land in the Chablis appellation, which he plants with the help of his wife Marie-Chantal. The domain Jean-Claude Courtault is created .
Over the years, while maintaining his responsibilities as a chef de culture, JC Courtault expands and operates his vineyard.
He vinified his wines and began their marketing in bottles in 1987, vintage for which he won a gold medal at the Concours Général des Vins de Paris.
This medal is the beginning of a series of awards that mark the career of JC Courtault, a sign of quality and consistency of his wines.
The 1994 edition of Guide Hachette brings a commercial boost to the Domaine Jean-Claude Courtault, giving three stars to its Chablis 1992.
In 1995, when the estate has a dozen hectares in Chablis and Petit Chablis, Jean-Claude Courtault decides to devote himself full time to its exploitation. He builds a cellar containing all the elements necessary to work in an optimal way.
The estate has continued to develop its vineyard to reach its current area of 20 hectares .
The story continues with Domaine Michelet
In 2007, Stephanie the daughter of JC and MC Courtault, returned to work at the Estate accompanied by her husband Vincent Michelet.StAphanie_Vincent_2.jpg
Having been able to acquire lands in Petit Chablis in their name, they decided to create in parallel their own estate " Stéphanie and Vincent MICHELET ". Today, Domaine Michelet operates 6 ha of Petit Chablis and 0.80 ha of Chablis, including a 60-year-old vine.
And as history repeats, the first vintage bottle of Domaine Michelet, a Petit Chablis 2008, received a gold medal at the Chablis Wine Competition.
Mutualisation of means and know-how.
The two areas work in synergy by sharing buildings, equipment, and labor; the vines and the wines are driven in the same way, each bringing his know-how.
Today the two domains work as if there were only one ...
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