Although the first vintage of Domaine de L'Enclos, 2016, was not that long ago, Romain and Damien Bouchard are already very experienced. The two brothers practically grew up in their father's vineyards and made their first wine experiments in a corner of the cellar as early as 2005. When their father decided to retire, they seized the opportunity and took two years off to completely rebuild the winery according to their ideals. The year 2018 was then the birth year of the new Domaine de L'Enclos.
The 29 hectares of vines are farmed organically and the brothers produce all four appellations of the region from Petit Chablis to Grand Cru. Most of the plants were planted by their father, or in the case of the Grand Crus Les Clos, even by their grandfather in 1964. This creates a link between the old and the present generation, and shows how committed the two brothers are to their origins.
Romain and Damien's passionate perfectionism can also be seen in their work in the cellar. In order to obtain only the very best grapes, they have a team of twelve people who work with the plants all year round: from careful pruning to meticulous manual harvesting.
Since they strictly reject chapitalisation, i.e. the enrichment with sugar, only fully ripened grapes are processed in the cellar. The wines ferment spontaneously with their own yeasts and no sulphur is added. In their opinion, this is the only way to bring out all the nuances of Chablis Chardonnay.
Chablis: world fame founded by monks
The link between wine regions and religious orders is omnipresent in Europe and Chablis is certainly one of the best examples of this historical fact.
The heart of the winery is a large 19th century estate in the middle of Chablis, where the monks of the Pontigny monastery used to live. As early as 897, Charles the Bald had given the village of Chablis to some Benedictine monks who had fled from the Vikings. They subsequently began to collect donations, some of which included vineyards. In 1114, it was the Cistercian monks who founded the Pontigny monastery under the leadership of Hugues de Macon. Again, it was donations in the form of vineyards (which were exempt from taxation) that finally established Chablis as a wine region.