The Fèvre family
Nathalie and Gilles Févre
Total of 98 acres planted entirely to Chardonnay: Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses – 5.7 acres, Chablis 1er Cru Vaulorent – 5.4 acres, Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume – 24.7 acres, Chablis 1er Cru Mont de Milieu – Recent 1/2 hectare vineyard swap arrangement with Domaine Pinson for same amount of Fourchaume, and AC Chablis – 61.8 acres (Parcels on the Côte de Fontenay just northeast of Grand Cru slope). Kimmeridgian soil. Chalky marl capped by hard limestone containing fossilized sea shells
The Fèvre family has tilled the chalky soils of Chablis since before the French Revolution, with lineage in the village of Fontenay-près-Chablis dating all the way back to 1745. Each generation has increased the family holdings, and the domaine now encompasses almost 100 acres, including 36 acres of prime parcels in Grand Cru and 1er Cru vineyards.
Gilles Fèvre met Nathalie while the two studied viticulture and enology at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon. For 12 years, Nathalie was Chef de Cave at La Chablisienne, the region’s famous cooperative winery, which coincidentally was co-founded by Gilles’ grandfather. Since 1923, the fruit of the Fèvre’s labor has been sold to La Chablisienne, including grapes from the family’s prized parcels in the Grand Cru Les Preuses and 1er Cru Fourchaume-Vaulorent (a 42-acre vineyard on the right bank of the Serein River, separated from Les Preuses by a small gully). This all changed with the 2004 vintage when Nathalie left the co-op to launch Domaine Fèvre with her husband.
Gilles takes a natural approach in tending the vineyards, employing bio-friendly alternatives to chemical herbicides and pesticides. And Nathalie now focuses her winemaking talents solely on the family’s grapes. The new modest, but state-of-the-art winery is equipped with a pneumatic press, 20 stainless steel tanks and chais for aging. With their first vintage, 2004, the Fèvres were awarded Guide Hachette’s prestigious Coup de Coeur for their Grand Cru Les Preuses; an encouraging sign of things to come.