Chablis, Burgundy, France
Raising Chablis to a new level of purity
The fifth generation of his family at the helm of their eponymous estate, Guillaume Vrignaud has built upon the pioneering legacy which turned them into a beacon of sustainability in Chablis. With the Georges Deschamps range, Guillaume pays tribute to his ancestors and their focus on purity and terroir.
Location: Chablis, Burgundy, France
Total area under vine: 29 hectares
Viticultural standards: Organic certified
Working with us since: 2021
Interesting fact: It was only when Guillaume joined the family operation in 1999 that Vrignaud started making its own wines. His father was, until then, a member of the Chablis co-op and took a bit of convincing to build his own winery and take the leap. Guillaume’s belief in the quality of their fruit and viticultural knowledge certainly paid off, having translated into wines that got immediate and wide acclaim, quickly allowing them to grow from 12 to the 29 hectares of vines they currently own.
Georges Deschamps Wines
Having settled next to Fontenay-près-Chablis in the 19th century, the Vrignaud family remains one of but a handful of family-owned estates in Chablis. Having long worked according to organic principles they pioneered a sustainability-driven approach in a region where low intervention practices can be rather challenging due to weather hazards and disease pressure. In 2009 Guillaume started the process to obtain full organic certification.
The Vrignauds have always worked each parcel individually and with great care, after minutely detailing the specific profiles of Portlandien et Kimméridgien strata in each of them. The best-suited Chardonnay clones, chosen through massal selection by observing the plants performing ideally in historical sites, were planted on corresponding soil profiles for optimum ripeness and controlled yields. They currently own 29 hectares of vines, including prized plots in the Blanchot Grand Cru and Fourchaume and Mont de Milieu Premier Crus.
It is this attention to detail, along with a light-handed approach in the cellar, that builds the character of Domaine Vrignaud, whose wines are left to express the details of soils, sub-soils, exposition, fruit and vintage.
Sitting alongside the Vrignaud classic range, the Georges Deschamps wines offer a more natural and textural approach to the Chablis terroirs the family works on. Named after and created as a tribute to Guillaume’s great-grandfather who, in 1955, planted the family’s first vines on Premier Cru Fourchaume, they are bottled unfined and unfiltered, therefore retaining a richer aromatic profile and more generous palate.
Production otherwise follows the exact same principles of all Vrignaud wines: each plot is worked and vinified separately; fermentation happens, with spontaneous yeast, in stainless steel and is followed my malolactic fermentation in either stainless steel or used oak; the wines age on the fine lees without bâtonnage. With Georges Deschamps the strong, iconic minerality of Vrignaud is revealed in a new light, with an earthier weight but the same steely elegance.